IAN Austin MP has called on the government to take urgent action on knife crime in Dudley and wider West Midlands, after a spate of fatal knife attacks around the country.

Austin raised the issue in the House of Commons on March 7 where he asked Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins MP to provide West Midlands Police with resources to tackle knife crime and prevent any further lives being lost.

The Dudley North MP also asked the minister to support the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioners' bid for funding for the Violence Protection Alliance, to look at the root cause of violence and put in place preventative measures to stop young people becoming involved in crime.

The initiative programmes aims to tackle the problem of knife crime through mentoring in schools, community action, the use of knife bins and employment support to help people in to steady jobs.

Ian Austin said: "We’ve seen a series of tragic deaths as a result of knife crime in the West Midlands, including here in Dudley, and I want the government to take action now to prevent any more lives being lost or people being injured.

“The people responsible for violent crime are the criminals themselves, but we’ve lost over £175 million and 2000 police officers under this government. We’re facing major challenges from serious and violent crime and gang behaviour but West Midlands police has been cut five times as hard as leafy Surrey and that is bound to have an impact.

“The government needs to do more so that West Midlands Police are equipped to deal with the challenges it is facing with violent crime, put more bobbies on the beat and keep people safe.”

The MP, who now represents Dudley North as an independent MP, asked Victoria Atkins MP: "This is now a national crisis where young people are losing their lives not just on the streets of major cities but even in towns like Dudley. We’ve lost 2,000 police in the West Midlands over the last few years so the police urgently need more resources so we can get more police of the streets to deal with this problem.

"We’ve also lost youth services, sports clubs and all the sorts of projects that keep young people off the streets and out of trouble, so will she support the PCC’s bid for more funding for the Violence Prevention Alliance?

"And finally when people are found with knives they should be locked up like the Conservative promised in their manifesto in 2010 and that promise has never been upheld."

Watch Ian Austin's question to Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins MP in the video above.