Recent figures indicate that the number of knife crime incidents is at its highest in almost a decade.
Last year over 21,000 incidents were reported with 1 in 5 being committed by offenders under the age of 18.
These worrying numbers shows that despite a nationwide effort to curb knife crime, more needs to be done.
The issue of knife crime is currently being discussed across the country.
Out of the 21,381 cautions, reprimands and convictions for carrying a knife in the year up to September 2018, 4,459 were under the age of 18 – the highest for eight years.
ITV weatherman, Alex Beresford passionately spoke up about his experiences on Good Morning Britain after his cousin was stabbed. Rapper, Akala discussed the links and legacy
of black-on-black violence with The Guardian, and The Specials founder, Neville Staple released a tribute single entitled, ‘Put Away Your Knives’ after the fatal stabbing of his grandson.
Knife Crime Definition:
Any crime that involves a knife
- Carrying a knife or trying to buy one if you’re under 18
- Threatening someone with a knife
- Carrying a knife that is banned
- A murder where the victim was stabbed with a knife
- Robbery or burglary where the thieves carried a knife as a weapon
It has been suggested that the steep increase in youngsters carrying knives is due to school exclusions and truancy. However, having spent time within disadvantaged communities and talking to offenders across the UK, Child Info finds that youngsters often carry blades to feel safe.
Those who carry a blade for safety are more likely to become a victim of knife crime rather than actually committing a crime.
Reports suggest that there is a link between the growing number of knife crime incidents and exclusions of children from school with figures growing at the same rate – especially in
underfunded and disadvantaged areas across the country.
Professional boxer, Stuart Maddox tours UK schools giving talks to students on the danger of carrying knives and the wider impact of knife use. During these sessions, Stuart has found pupils as young as 9 carrying some form of knife.
“School pupils and disadvantaged youngsters are turning to crime as a way to feel secure in their surroundings. Some do so without realising they are committing a crime”.
Sometimes there are clear signs that a child may be carrying a knife such as one going missing from the kitchen. However, it is important to be watch for other less obvious signs:
- school’s not going well or they don’t want to go in
- been a recent victim of theft/bullying/mugging or have new group of friends who may be older than your child.
If you feel that a child you know is involved in knife crime, be sure to get in touch with your
local authority, school or community organisation such as Child Information Centre who can help provide any materials needed to assist vulnerable youngsters.