Knife crime in England has now started rising again – but why?
There are a few reasons as to why knife crime is increasing such as police budget cuts, gang violence and disputes between drug dealers.
From 2009, the number of stops had fallen sharply across England and Wales, especially in London as there were concerns that the measures unfairly targeting young black men, wasted police resources and were ineffective in catching criminals.
There is now evidence from police that young people are now more inclined to carry knives because of growing confidence that they won’t be stopped.
Hospital admissions for incidents relating to sharp objects have now been rising and are at near-record levels, with around 44,285 police-recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the 12 months to March 2021. *
Why are young people carrying knives?
National and local research continues to determine root causes of why young people are carrying knives. The common factors that were found to influence young people to carry knives where:
- County lines – organised drug networks
- Gang affiliation
- Fear of crim
- Victim of bullying
- Peer pressure
- Media attention
How to help change the statistics on knife crime
Tackling knife crime is a priority to everyone, especially the police. One of the biggest ways to reduce knife crime would be to teach young people the consequences of knife and weapon crime.
Some young people think if they carry a knife or weapon, then they are protected. However, statistics show that if you carry a knife or weapon then you are more likely to end up being hurt as you are seen as threatening.
Understand the consequences:
- Carrying a knife or gun is illegal
- Carrying a knife or gun increases your risk of being injured the people around you.
- Police are allowed to stop and search someone if they believe a weapon is being carried
- Having a criminal record could stop you entering your chosen college or university, getting a job and could place restrictions on you travelling to some countries.
- You could go to jail for up to four years if you are found in possession of a knife or five years for a gun, even if you are carrying it for someone else
- In the worst-case scenario, you could get life imprisonment for murder.
*Numbers from the Ben Kinsella Trust Website.