Labour MP Bill Esterson backs calls for increased police powers

Bill Esterson

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said he was shocked by a Crosby Herald investigation which uncovered Facebook accounts of Sefton teenagers boasting about guns and gangs.


The MP, who has this week backed a call by fellow Labour MP Heidi Alexander for police to be given extra powers to block or take down online videos that could incite violence, said it was time action was taken to end the glorification of gangs and violence on the web.


The Crosby Herald's investigation uncovered postings from people in Thornton and Crosby which included images of guns and other weapons with words from young teenagers boasting about violent exploits.


Bill Esterson said it is deeply concerning that young people feel the need to glorify gangs and violence.


Bill said: "I've seen postings similar to this before and it really is terrifying that young people feel like they have to portray this image of gangs and violence.


"There is a problem in certain areas in the North West of gang culture, but here in Sefton Central we are on the whole free of that type of mentality. But these youngsters who are posting photos of guns and glamorising that way of life need to be stopped.


"It isn't cool to be involved in guns and violence and it can only lead to pain and prison."


The Sefton Central Labour MP said that was why he was backing Labour MP Heidi Alexander's bill.


Bill said: "It is shocking that postings and videos which explicitly glorify guns and violence are allowed to stay online.


"I would like to see the police given more powers to deal this kind of online postings which directly incite violence. That's why I fully support Heidi's bill.


"The courts, the police and parents all need to work together to eradicate this type of dangerous glamorisation of violence.


"Not only can this type of behaviour incite violence and criminality, but it can also lead to groups of young people terrorising communities, be that online or on our streets.


"I back the campaign for new police powers to get to the root of this dangerous problem. It needs to be stopped once and for all."

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