Spike in knife crime

Wednesday 13th March 2019 05:07 EDT

The issue of knife crime is on the rise when it should have come down. Knife killings has now become the norm instead of the exception. This situation is unacceptable and a blot on the government for failing to combat it robustly. At present the government and the police are dealing with the symptoms and not the underlying reasons and root causes. Symptoms and causes should be tackled simultaneously to bring down knife crime and violence. Youth involved in these crimes come from school exclusions, broken homes, poverty, lack of parental control, lack of opportunities, discrimination, racism, mental health problems and inequality. 

Interest rates on student loans have soared. And for the poorest young Black people, the impact of these cuts has been devastating. On top of that youth clubs have been closed down, facilities for sports like boxing, football, cricket, athletics, arts, music are lacking for these young men. This leads them to fall prey to gangs involved in drug dealing and gang warfare. 

Furthermore, police officers have been decreased by 22,000 instead of increasing them because of the lopsided policies of cutting funds for the youth by the government. When young boys see a bleak future in front of them, they are lured into crime as the only way out for them because nothing else is available. 

Police chiefs have called for the public's help in stopping knife crime after a spate of fatal stabbings across the UK. West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the issue has become a "national emergency" after three teenagers were killed in Birmingham earlier this week.  A knife crime charity has said recent deaths in London are "just the tip of the iceberg", and added that "all sectors of society" have to take responsibility to stop the violence. There have been around 20 murders in London so far this year, with six of them happening in nine days. 

Met Police Commander Dave Musker said: "Every death or injury is a tragedy and will have a lasting impact on those who knew and were close to the victims. West Midlands Police Chief Constable David Thompson said the rate of knife crime was increasing across all major cities. 

It is time for solutions that genuinely address and try to solve the underlying reasons why knife crime is increasing and urgent steps taken to address this important issue facing the nation. No more posturing but it is time to take proper actions with proper resources.

Baldev Sharma

Rayners Lane, Harrow

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