Monday, 8 June 2009

Sum, sum, summer summer murder

It is becoming normal to carry a knife if you're a young person. This is according to a report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, which highlighted the "arms race" that exists between rival gangs in Britain.

Nowhere is this more prevalent than London, where 22 people under the age of 20 were stabbed to death last year. The latest fatality was 17-year-old Jahmal Mason-Blair, a promising footballer, who was stabbed in the neck in Hackney last month.

Mason-Blair was the ninth teenager to die violently in the capital in 2009.

While examples like this seem to come around with alarming regularity, you only need to scratch the surface to begin to understand the scale of the problem.

There were 4,786 reported knife crimes in the UK in 2007-08, which amounts to nearly seven attacks every day (a knife crime is one that involes a knife being produced - it does not have to be used).

This is 42 per cent increase from the number of incidents reported in 1996-97.
Why the pretty canal scene above? This is Regent's Canal, one of east London's most tranquil locations.

Yet the city turns its back to the waterway. While this is attractive for cyclists and walkers, it can also encourage a breeding ground for unrest under the cover of darkness.
Earlier this month, eight teenagers were arrested following the stabbing of a 15-year-old male.

The schoolboy was found bleeding in Palmer's Road, which runs alongside the canal.
Two main points. Firstly, knife crime is confined to deeply urban areas - this is not a problem that will spread to surburbia, spa towns or the Welsh valleys.

Secondly - and this is in spite of the Metropolitan Police reporting a fall in knife crime - the issue will continue to raise its ugly head in our cities until possession of a blade carries a mandatory punishment.

Until then, there is very little deterrent.


  1. You are a talented young man gilbert :)

  2. Enlightening, keep it up brother