Birmingham children are getting involved in gangs at an earlier age, an MP who was hit with a brick thrown by motorcycle thugs has warned.
Steve McCabe , Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, said there should be more surveillance cameras in the streets to help catch people involved in street crime such as theft or carjacking.
And he said gang members now came from every walk of life including middle class homes.
He warned: “We are losing control of our neighbourhoods."
The MP suffered facial injuries after being hit with a brick by an attacker on a motorcycle in August. He was left with what he called a “very sore & swollen face” following after the incident in Greenford Road, Kings Heath.
The last Labour government introduced measures such as anti-social behaviour orders or ASBOs to crack down on anti-social behaviour. Critics said the measures were too harsh and treated young people as criminals for no good reason.
But leading a House of Commons debate, Mr McCabe said the present Government had watered down the measures and this had led to an increase in crime.
Calling for tougher measures to fight street crime, he said: “I do not understand why, in an age of high-quality cameras that are so small and relatively cheap, it is so difficult to mount more successful surveillance operations in areas where particular types of street crime such as theft, assault and carjacking are prevalent.
“When it comes to the pursuit of those on mopeds and motorcycles, why is more attention not given to drone technology?”
He told Ministers that he attended a meeting with police, councillors and community representatives in his constituency, adding: “The panel had noted an increase in gang activity in south Birmingham and was concerned about an emerging picture suggesting that children are getting involved in gangs at a much earlier age, and that membership is no longer confined to those from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds but embraces those from what we might regard as quite middle class homes.
“It seems to me that that information supports my view that we are losing control of our neighbourhoods, and that we need Government-directed activity and local intelligence to come together to provide clear action plans to tackle the threat posed by that emerging gang culture.”