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Opinion: Our priority is to keep our loved ones safe

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 July 2018

Julia Lopez was elected as Hornchurch & Upminster's locap MP at the 2017 General Election.

Julia Lopez was elected as Hornchurch & Upminster's locap MP at the 2017 General Election.

Archant

The security of loved ones is at the top of all our priority lists, and I have responsibility in my role as an MP to ensure we have the right laws in place to keep people safe.

Last week I worked on two important pieces of legislation designed to do just that – first, as a member of the committee which scrutinises line-by-line the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, and second, by speaking in support of the government’s Offensive Weapons Bill.

The fast pace of technological change means that government faces a challenge in keeping up with terrorists’ methods.

The Counter-Terrorism Bill is a response to last year’s dreadful terror attacks and aims to close gaps in the law when it comes to radicalisation and our ability to stop people at our borders.

I have asked the minister if we might look more carefully at the welfare of home-educated children in households where extremist views are espoused.

The Offensive Weapons Bill gives the police more tools to crack down on the carrying of knives and acid following the horrendous wave of attacks by our young people on one another.

During my contribution to the Bill’s Second Reading, I highlighted my concern about police and council resources, the absence of leadership from the Mayor of London, and the welfare of children excluded from school who are being groomed as drugs mules by gangs.

I highlighted what we are doing locally on crime, including work by the council to purchase Hornchurch Police Station from the Mayor – something we hope to confirm soon.

Finally, I know that residents in Harold Hill are deeply concerned by the number of illegal Traveller sites we have seen recently. I have raised these issues with police and council, and we hope soon to have a borough-wide injunction in place to prevent public land from being used for illegal sites.

In the meantime, the government is consulting on a law change that would give private landowners more protection against trespass.

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