The front page of this week's Watford Observer concerns a young man jailed for stabbing another young man in the chest in front of horrified shoppers in High Street, Watford.

A story at the bottom of page 2 details how a 14-year-old from the Watford area was allegedly caught with a gun and ammunition, as well as drugs, in London.

The root of this problem is conflict between gangs also involved in drug dealing, with disputes over territory and tit for tat attacks leading to serious injuries and deaths.

The drug dealing networks, and with it the violence, have been moving out of London for the past few years, often with so-called county lines.

Read more: Man jailed following stabbing in front of shoppers in High Street, Watford

Read more: 14-year-old had gun and ammo with intent, court hears

The rate of attacks was slowed by lockdown but now the cycle of stabbings and shootings is starting to reassert itself.

Some call for tough measures to crack down on drug dealing and possession, others call it a public health measure and look to improve living conditions in deprived areas, where gangs draw most of their members from.

Still others argue that decriminalising drugs altogether would take them out of the hands of gangs and dealers, putting the manufacture into the hands of regulated companies and providing a source of money through taxation.

The politics should come second to finding a solution that stops the gangs and the violence. As we start to leave the pandemic behind, people will be sickened by yet more pointless deaths and injuries and look to our leaders for real answers to this deadly problem.