Posted: 18.10.21 at 16:03 by Ellie Brown
TEDDINGTON'S MP Munira Wilson has pledged to keep seeing constituents in person at her surgeries, despite safety fears raised by the murder of fellow MP Sir David Amess.
In a statement today, Ms Wilson thanked residents for their messages of support and told constituents "it is a privilege to serve you."
She also offered support to residents following last week's fatal stabbing in Twickenham and pledged to keep campaigning for more police officers on Richmond borough's streets.
The Lib-Dem MP told Nub News she was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the murder of her parliamentary colleague.
"My colleagues and I are shell-shocked, and our staff teams – who are equally exposed as they support us - are understandably nervous," she said.
"Whilst there is rightly a review of MPs’ security underway, I want to reassure residents that I will continue to be out and about in the community meeting with residents and local groups, and hearing your concerns.
"I continue to offer surgery appointments and anyone who wants to meet me should get in touch with my office: [email protected] or 020 8977 0606.
"I am also running “Meet your MP” sessions at local supermarkets, as well as street stalls around the constituency.
"In fact, on Friday morning, I spent a couple of hours at Tesco Extra near Twickenham Stadium chatting to local residents about a range of issues from pavements to policing.
“Democracy only works when we have open and free dialogue between elected representatives and the people they serve, and maintaining that seems the best tribute I can pay to Sir David Amess, and his lifetime of public service.
"I am very grateful for the lovely messages of support and thanks I have had from a number of constituents over the weekend. It is a privilege to serve you.”
In response to a query from Nub News about her own security as an MP, Ms Wilson said: "I am very thankful that I have not received very much online or verbal abuse and no threats to my own personal safety or my family.
"I recognise many other MPs have a very different experience and appropriate measures should be considered accordingly.
“We must never forget that our dedicated staff are often the frontline for MPs in terms of correspondence, social media and assisting us in our local engagement.
"They need to feel safe and secure in the vital role they do in supporting MPs to serve our residents."
The Lib-Dem MP also gave a statement on the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Richmond college student and Afghan refugee Hazrat Wali.
The attack on the teenager happened in broad daylight on Cranefield Way playing fields last Tuesday, and has shocked the local community.
Ms Wilson said: "My heart goes out to his family, friends and the whole college community as they come to terms with this tragic incident.
"I know many local residents are understandably extremely concerned regarding safety in the area and knife crime,” she said.
“On Wednesday, I arranged a meeting with the police, college leadership and councillors close to the site of the stabbing to understand what immediate actions were being taken and to press for additional patrols and reassurance for residents.
"Both the police and college security have stepped up their patrols. I and local councillors will continue to engage with them and the local community in the coming weeks and months to ensure residents feel safer."
"I’d like to take the opportunity to recognise the bravery of the teachers from Richmond upon Thames School and Hampton High who rushed to Hazrat’s aid.
“They were overseeing a rugby match between the two schools close to the incident. I know that students and staff at both those schools and of course at the college are being offered counselling and pastoral support.
"My thanks too to the local police involved in the investigation and those working with local schools and the community since the incident.
“Thankfully, incidents such as this are extremely rare in our area and Richmond remains one of the safest boroughs in London."
On the need for more police, she said: “Knife crime has been on the rise across London and given a recent horrific incident in Richmond Park involving a cyclist being attacked with a machete, and another knife-related incident at Teddington Lock a few months ago, I continue to lobby for additional police officers on our streets, challenging government ministers and the Mayor of London.
"At the same time, effective action on youth violence and knife crime needs a preventative and joined-up approach, with greater investment in youth services and all agencies working together across the NHS, education/youth services and the police."
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