THE EPIDEMIC IN NUMBERS
How many? 285 knife-related homicides recorded in the year ending March 2018 – the highest number since the Home Office Homicide Index began more than 70 years ago.
Who is affected? Young men aged 18 to 24 are the most affected. But there’s also been a 77% increase in homicides committed with knives by under-18s (2016 to 2018). And a 93% increase in the number of under-16s admitted to hospital due to knife attacks (since 2012).
The rate at which men are currently being killed by violence is over double that for women. And while statistics don’t detail the social backgrounds of victims and perpetrators, research indicates there’s a greater chance of being killed by violence the poorer you are.
HOW CAN THE PROBLEM BE SOLVED?
Just giving police more power is not the solution.
So far, government plans to tackle the issue have focused on granting police greater powers to surveil, stop and search, and punish “suspicious” young people.
As part of the UK government’s decision to enhance police powers, Sajid Javid, the former home secretary, sought to introduce Knife Crime Prevention Orders which:
Can apply to any person aged 12 or over who carries a knife, has been convicted of a knife-related offence, or is suspected by police of carrying one.
Can impose curfews, geographical boundaries or social media restrictions.
Can result in conviction and a prison sentence of up to two years if the order is breached.
SOLUTIONS NEED TO PUT CHILDREN
& YOUNG PEOPLE FIRST
Academics consistently advocate solutions that put children and young people first.
Here are some proposed solutions for the UK government:
Stop stigmatising young people – listen to them instead
Divert children and young people away from toxic environments and into positive, nurturing ones that meet their basic needs
Invest in youth services, social care and extracurricular activities
Provide educational support to reduce school exclusions and improve outcomes
Work with families and communities to support, educate and rehabilitate young people
Invest in community-based policing to restore trusting relations
Create opportunities for training and employment to improve young people’s chances finding work and building professional relationships
OUR ACTIONS - YOUTH PWR
As part of our fight against knife crime and gang violence, Youth PWR is continuously working with communities and young people directly to create positive environments by organising engaging extracurricular activities, inspirational events, mentorship programmes and creating opportunities for training and employment in order to empower them for constructive engagement and empowerment for sustainable future.