On Monday night, a 16-year-old boy became the tenth young victim of knife crime in London this year. Two weeks ago, a 17-year-old became the ninth victim and just 24 hours before him, another 17-year-old was stabbed to death for ‘disrespecting another boy’ by talking to his girlfriend.
It is not surprising to learn that reported knife crime figures have risen not only in London, but also in England and Wales. There seems to be a stabbing in the news almost every week, reporting mainly on the fatalities, but there are also stories about the more extreme attacks. However, a higher number of knife attacks usually take place throughout the year, which do not make it onto the national news or even into the news at all.
Again, I must stress that what the police and the government have been doing to try and combat knife crime is obviously not working. Increases in Stop and Search or implementing harsher sentences has not driven knife crime down, and instead it continues run rife around the country. It seems that the solution lies less with law enforcement and perhaps more with community or educational initiatives.
In a letter to the editor of the Evening Standard, Lucy Hastings, director of the charity Victim Support, wrote: “The rise in the number of knife crime incidents in London among teenagers is a serious cause for concern… After years of success in driving knife crime down, this recent incident combined with the rise is a worrying development and efforts to educate people about the dangers of carrying knives must be stepped up.”
Young people are continuing to use knives as a solution to their problems or as a way to prove a point, rather than attempting to effectively communicate or even fight without the use of a weapon if they find themselves in disputes.
All of these deaths are pointless and what is worse is that many of them are down to the most ridiculous reasons. It’s sad to see this waste of so many young lives, who had their whole futures ahead of them, but what is worse is that young people choose to continue using knives even when they’ve seen the pain that it causes so many families.
We need to make the necessary moves in our community and implement the changes that will stop knife crime from spiralling further out of control. We cannot allow knife crime to get any worse, because we have a duty to the individuals in our community to stop this terror from ruining any more lives. What do you think we can do?