Knives and Young People

One in four young people have carried a knife, survey reveals – Children & Young People Now

According to the survey of more than 350 16- to 24-year-olds, 30 per cent of young people now think it is okay to carry a knife.

Furthermore, 23 per cent said they would actually use one.

Met declares war on knife crime gangs – Telegraph

Police have launched a fight-back against knife crime in London as 150 officers took to the streets using stop-and-search powers to confront youths.

And yet Knife crime ‘not increasing’ | UK news | guardian.co.uk

According to the British Crime Survey, knife-enabled crime (any crime involving a knife) over the past decade has remained stable at around 6-7% of all crime, comprising 30% of all homicides.

In fact, the most recent crime survey by the Metropolitan police showed that knife crime has actually dropped by 15.7% over the past two years, from 12,122 to 10,220 incidents.

No time to think this through at the moment, but I wonder if our fear of particular types of crime and the way they’re reported help develop rational and effective policy.

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About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
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5 Responses to Knives and Young People

  1. Lone Ranger says:

    This lot may have set out with a purpose in mind, but may be relevant?

    “Six knives, two screwdrivers, a corkscrew, a golf club, a metal baseball bat, a mallet, two wrench handles, a claw hammer and a metal bar were found on the bus and 24 teenagers were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder.”

    http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/lewgreennews/display.var.2282659.0.police_appeal_to_weapons_bus_riders.php

  2. ross says:

    this wouldn’t have happened if ken was still mayor

  3. Lone Ranger says:

    The Mayor of Lewisham’s response following the Lone Ranger’s timely intervention….

    “I congratulate the police on their swift action to arrest this group and prevent violence before it could take place.”

    “What is worrying is that even amongst the majority of youngsters with no intention of causing trouble there is a mistaken belief that carrying a weapon makes you safe.”

    http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/NewsAndEvents/News/MayorsStatementOnDeptfordBusRaid.htm

    Why does it take major incidents for politicians and officers to take on board their are issues happening around them they have pushed aside?

    For example directly outside the town hall at about 3pm Monday to Friday you’ll see an influx of police, support officers, wardens and transport officials to deal with the behaviour of some schoolchildren at bus stops. Does no one look out the council buildings and think this is dumb and how they have created such a society?

    A society where to make people feel safer the streets have to be swamped with law enforcers to surround schoolchildren.

    Just to ram the point home…listen out in the afternoons for the significant increase of police cars racing across the borough with their sirens blaring, is it a coincidence that happens about the the time schools turnout?

    Just an observation.

  4. Andrew Brown says:

    I wonder whether you’d give Steve credit for the innovations he has brought in to make sure he’s listening to young people and trying to respond to the agenda they (and their parents) would like set?

    If you look back over all of the budget speeches that Steve has made over the last 6 years or so I would guess that one of the running themes has been about improving services for young people. I know from my experience on the cabinet how much personal effort Steve has made in bringing in and embedding the role of Young Mayor and their advisers, and ensuring they have been taken seriously.

    Does this mean everything is rosy in the garden, clearly not, but the idea that heads are completely stuck in the sand doesn’t strike me as entirely true either.

  5. Lone Ranger says:

    I accept there have been innovations but at what point were they introduced and how affective have they been? What I described taking place outside the town hall isn’t something that began overnight it has steadly increased to where it is now heavily policed on a daily basis.

    What message does it send out to anyone on the South Circular passing the Civic Centre in the afternoons, there is affective policing and a safe place to live or glad they are only passing through?

    Over the weekend the BBC reported The Children’s Commissioner Sir Al Aynsley Green has warned new laws tackling knife crime could antagonise youths. This item was accompanied by a video from Lewisham.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7418283.stm

    You may not have seen this report by King’s College London, “The report said youth offending had barely changed – but more children had been criminalised or imprisoned.”
    The report said youth offending had barely changed – but more children had been criminalised or imprisoned.

    Regarding the Mayor’s budget in the name of effiency or cuts I believe in 2007 it was decided a large proportion of the savings were to be made in the department dealing with young people. A cut was approved to those being housed by the council despite officers stating they had no idea what affect the saving would have.

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