Brown’s ‘calm and measured’ approach to gun crime

Gordon Brown said the government is working “behind the scenes” to tackle gun crime.

The prime minister said he was pursuing a “calm and measured” approach to reducing gang violence, but said this may include new legislation.

The Conservatives have attacked Labour for trying to legislate their way out of gun and gang violence, rather than focusing on the social breakdown that can underpin disorder.

Speaking at his monthly press conference, Mr Brown said the government would need to improve legislation if necessary, but would also target violence through schools and family intervention to help parents who have lost control of their children.

Mr Brown said the government was preparing to hand more powers to police to intercept firearms, patrol problem areas and perform stop and search checks.

He agreed with previous comments from the home secretary that it is essential the government stem the flow and supply of guns if it is to reduce violent crime.

He said: “I think you’ll see in these communities over the next few months, very deliberate, intensive action and I hope that people in these communities appreciate that that is in the interest of cutting the supply of guns, stopping the circulation – particularly amongst young people – and stopping what is the most deadliest of crimes that in the last few weeks shocked the nation by taking away a young and wholly innocent life.”

As gang violence becomes an increasingly staple on the political agenda, the government today launched a review into the impact of media violence on children, as politicians attempt to identify the “cause” of violent crime.

Mr Brown denied he would seek any form of state censorship, but said he hoped parents and programme workers would reach a common agreement of the need for voluntary controls on extreme violence and sex in programmes and games targeted at children.

The prime minister said parents could expect the government to help shield their children from unsuitable material.

He said: “This is not the government telling people what they should do … this is society reaching a conclusion with all those people involved about what are the legitimate boundaries.

“I think we have got to look at this as a society. I hope this is one of the areas where there can be common ground between all parties. I think you need to review this with a large number of representative groups, from parents, from the different industries itself and from other areas of public life.”