Over the last few years, it seems that London is undergoing an epidemic of knife crime and other violent acts amongst the younger generation. Hitting the headlines frequently, it seems that knife crime poses a real problem across boroughs of the capital. Over 2017-2018, knife crime in London reached an all-time high, with 14,987 offences recorded.
London knife crime is particularly rife across those aged under 25; both the offenders and victims appear to be young adults and teenagers. 8% of those caught for knife crimes in London are as young as 10-14 years old.
With 90% of offenders and 75% of victims male, it may suggest that these knife crimes are gang-related, with youngsters often carrying knives to ensure they are unthreatened by rival gang members.
Some boroughs in London experience higher rates of violence than others; in 2017-2018, it was reported that the worst affected areas include Southwark, Newham, Croydon, Hackney and Enfield.
So, what can be done to help reduce the amount of knife crime in these areas? It was reported that the use of stop and search had increased from 9,906 in July 2018, to 15,576 in December 2018. This can often help police catch those carrying offensive weapons and preventing any further crime.
What’s more, the Home Secretary has introduced new knife crime prevention orders, which is designed to reach young people and help them before they reach the stage of being convicted of a crime. The orders comprise of many different ideas, including curfews, geographical restrictions to reduce gang culture, and even mandatory attendance of knife crime awareness courses.
Local communities have a huge role to play in helping reduce the number of violent crimes; from businesses to charities. Providing positive role models for those at risk of becoming involved in gang crime is a huge step in the right direction, as well as providing classes and workshops to help personal development. This can ensure those vulnerable to gangs are working towards something productive, and realising that they can do something more constructive with their lives.