The Rise of Knife Crime

Knife crime in the UK has reached a crisis point

From the low point in May 2014 to September 2018 knife crime rose by 66% in England and Wales, with over a third of it occurring in London (despite it only accounting for 15% of the population). 2018 also saw the highest homicide rates since a decade and from the 12 month period ending in March 2018, there were 285 fatal stabbings. One in four of the victims of the stabbings (roughly 71), were men aged between 18 and 24, and 25% of the victims were black, the highest since this type of data started to be collected in 1997.

A government report has stated that the main reasons for this violence are drugs, and more surprisingly, social media. Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick has explained how social media can escalate disputes much quicker, online threats resulting in anger and violence, and making it hard for people to calm down. Rival gangs posting videos mocking each other on Youtube was the reason for the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old boy in 2017.

The House of Lords is being asked to approve certain prevention orders as part of the government’s ‘Offensive Weapons Bill’, with banning suspects from social media being among the other orders. These prevention orders can be imposed on someone convicted of carrying a knife and are an attempt to stop people returning to knives. It is uncertain whether these measures will lead to a drop in knife crime, but the continuous stabbings, mostly among youth, have to stop.

Natalia V