Has the UK lost control of its people? Knife crime at its highest since records began.

Switching on the TV used to be a way of waking up in the morning, GMTV or BBC Breakfast blasting in the background as we ran around making coffee and breakfast for the family. The News was all light entertainment, who got married in showbiz yesterday, and celebrations going on around the world today.

So since when has it become the norm to wake up to hear of another youngster on our street being killed from a knife attack? It just seems that we expect it every day now. And this is just the killings on our streets without the news that someone has been stabbed and is still alive, this has now resorted to be reported on local news sites not worthy enough of making the headlines.

Up to the writing of this article, 27 youngsters have been victims of knife killings. 27 people’s lives lost for what? And their killers? Left on our streets to do it again to the next person.

For the year ending September 2018 knife crime offences had risen to a massive 39,818[1]. Way above the national average and the highest since records began even beating the knife crime used in our wars. This week the government launched a national crisis and pledged to fight the war against Knife Crime. However, many believe this is too little too late. So many youngsters have lost their life to this war, how many more must we endure, media and individuals have been shouting about this epidemic for years now and nothing has been done. Just type knife crime into a search engine and the amount of articles that come up from past years show just how long this really has been an epidemic for. 

Image courtesy of The Guardian

This week, the home secretary Sajid Javid has come forward advising he is seeking an extra £15m from the government to help tackle knife crime. Statistics do show that since Theresa May, who was home secretary at the time, axed thousands of police offers off our street, crime rate has increased, though at the time she also cut policing powers.

Theresa May has advised she is holding a summit on this current epidemic, but there is a stalemate in government as no-one can say for certain what it is that needs to be done. Putting more police offers on the beat may be part of the solution, but what good are police offers that do not have any powers?

Pointless money spent when they cannot do anything. So next step, give more powers to police in stop and search missions. This week, officers countrywide have put s.60 of the Criminal Justice and Public order Act 1994 into force. This allows police offers to stop and search individuals they believe to be carrying an offensive weapon. Police forces are also asking for this legislation to be pushed further and include people who already have a conviction of knife related crime.

Regarding the conflicting solutions of how to tackle knife crime offences, Thames Valley Police Chief Constable has said “if you have got less people enforcing the laws and providing that visible presence, able to respond when thing happen and investigate things, then of course it is going to have an impact on our ability to deal with issues like knife crime”[2]

These two solutions are just the beginning. Some people are now pointing the finger at schools not doing enough to stop pupils carrying knives or deterring them from using knives. Ofsted has come out and slammed this theory.

More action also needs to be done in our courts. Whilst police are arresting more and more people in relation to carrying knives or knife related crimes, this is no deterrent if our courts are just giving them a slap on the wrist. 

Whichever way you look at the situation, this country is at war with knife crime. Media seems to show the deaths and how the death toll has risen in the city, but what about other areas? It is not just the city that has endured this pain of losing a loved one, but it is countrywide.

The MP’s need to come together on this matter, and whilst the Conservatives have been seen to at least have a meeting over it, other parties are too busy pointing the finger at who is too blame rather than how to stop it. Yes, the country is run by the Conservatives, but the city is run by Labour – another reason why politicians should be pulling together. The time for finger pointing is over. It is time for action

Asda has already started by stopping the sale of single kitchen knives, how long before other shops follow the same path.

But one week after news and media platforms where plastered with how to tackle knife crime, news channels and politicians have found a new subject to talk about. The Brexit deal.

The time for everyone to pull together is now, as the one question on everyone’s mind is; has the UK lost control of its people? The answer… No-one knows.

Written by

Victoria-Jayne Scholes – OULS News Reporter

1 Comment
  1. Scitobor 8 months ago

    On the day after your post, the BBC posted a report ‘Ten charts on the rise of knife crime’.
    It contains some interesting charts. One shows a decrease in the number of stop and searches from about 1,400,000 in 2009/10 to about 300,000 in 2017/18. I wish the BBC had shown some stats on stop and search before 2009, so that we had a clearer visualization of trends. However, it does look as though there is a strong correlation between the administration of stop and search and the rate of knife crime.
    The response to knife crime is a matter of political will to divert resources from other areas of government spending. So how much extra was being spent when stop and search was at its 2009/2010 level? The BBC has paraded a lot of stats the problem, but nothing about what it would cost.

Leave a reply

©2019 Open University Law Society

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?