It’s #UniversalChildrensDay on the 20th of this month and I’ve been thinking A LOT about the ever growing epidemic of knife and gun crime in the UK. It seems that it’s happening so much more these days and it seems that not an awful lot is being done about it.
This is a subject that isn’t even creeping up, it isn’t even an elephant in the room, it’s massive… It’s knife crime and as a mother of two girls 20 and 17 I cannot express the depth of pain, disappointment, distress and fear Millennials must be going through when it comes to losing friends. What’s happening to our children? And it’s not even UK based, there was the most distressing story in California where one of the victims of a bar shooting was the niece of Tia Mowry, previously of Sister Sister which my girls used to love and she now regularly appears on The Real. So these crimes aren’t immune from celebrity!
Why aren’t youth appreciating life? Two weeks ago rapper and music composer Tino Kamal was in the Bauer building and popped his head ’round the door to let me know that his mum listens to me on Magic, I had a very quick chat with him about knife crime, why it’s happening, and how he feels. Having been a victim of knife crime himself he decided to write music to reach out to demographics/Millennial followers in the hope of getting some answers about this current negative trend which is very very distressing.
The number of stabbing victims with life-threatening injuries treated by specialist trauma doctors has increased by 34% in two years, according to NHS figures obtained by the Guardian.
Many people believe that knife crime is ONLY occuring in South London but that’s just simply not true.
According to information from Parliament, yes, London recorded the highest rate of 168 offences involving a knife per 100,000 population in 2017/18, an increase of 26 offences per 100,000 population from 2016/17. Surrey had the lowest rate of 5 offences per 100,000 individuals (up by 1 from 2016/17). But as you can see from the images below… that’s not the WHOLE story…
What’s being done?
Operation Sceptre has been around since 2015…
The operation has resulted in a total of 2294 arrests, 473 of which were for possession of a knife or weapon and the recovery and removal of 1435 weapons from the streets of London.
In addition to enforcement activity, officers from the Trident & Area Crime Command created and deliver four educational packages to young people in schools across London. The packages aim to help young people think about the decisions they make, and the consequences of their actions with the aim of deterring them from joining gangs and getting into a life of crime.
In an effort to take knives off the streets they are working with Word 4 Weapons – a charity that has 30 knife surrender bins located at various sites across London. There are also bins available at a number of police stations. See a Google Map with the knife bin locations marked.
Safer Schools Officers are in schools courtesy of the Metropolitan Police.
In a commentary for the Evening Standard, Cressida Dick, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London, said ending violence is her top priority.
“The causes of the rise in violence are complex, and so are the solutions, but each and every one of my officers and staff, whether they are a firearms officer, a neighborhood officer or a call handler, know violence is our number-one priority and have this at the forefront of their minds whatever they are doing,” she wrote.
She added: “Our work will continue, we will not stop or give up. Policing may be under-resourced, but we are using our officers carefully.”