Although knife crime is a constant presence throughout the year, there are periods of time when the media reports on a series stabbings throughout the country. The stabbings that many of us are oblivious to most of the time are now thrust in our face, making us aware of a problem that shows no signs of fading away.
Just this week, an 18-year-old was stabbed to death in a children’s playground in broad daylight by a group of youths, while a 50-year-old teacher was stabbed by a 14-year-old boy in a classroom. Both of these incidents were witnessed by numerous individuals, showing just how bright and brazen young people with weapons have become. Not only do they have no respect for life, but they also have a blatant disregard for the law or how their actions may affect others around them.
Despite recorded offences involving knives and sharp instruments falling 2% compared with the previous year, there were actually increases in most offense groups, particularly assault with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm (up by 7%)*. What also needs to be taken into consideration is that these statistics do not tell the full story, as there are countless acts of knife crime that go unreported.
An increase in knife crime has also been seen in London, with the Evening Standard reporting that statistics from the Metropolitan Police Service in March revealed that violent crime was “up 27 per cent on the same period last year”.
The Evening Standard also reported: “The figures, compiled by the London Assembly Labour group, showed that in May, knife crime with injury among under-25s was up 23 per cent on the same month last year. In eight boroughs, including Tower Hamlets and Hackney, they show a rise of more than 50 per cent in one year.”
Knife crime is a constant issue, affecting countless lives. It has gotten worse in a sense, as what was once associated mainly with gangs has spread out to become a common occurrence among many young individuals. Anyone could become a victim at any time for any reason, which makes it all the more terrifying.
Tottenham MP David Lammy told the Evening Standard: “I’ve sat with too many parents who have lost innocent children to knife and violent crime. Their sons have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s tragic when it happens. We say it must never happen again and yet time and time again it does.”
Whatever the government or police have been trying to do to combat knife crime does not seem to have worked, which means that we need to do something to prevent these pointless acts of violence from taking place. Maybe it’s through spending more time with young people, helping them to improve their communication and deal effectively with their emotions, or perhaps making more available for them to keep them off the streets.
I want to hear from you about how we can make a change and a real difference to prevent knife crime. It would also be great for you to share any of your personal experiences, as your story may be just what someone needs to read in order to make a change in their life.
*Figures provided by Office for National Statistics