London hunts for ways to stop deadly youth stabbings
London, UK - Nearly one young person a week has been stabbed to death in London so far this year, leaving British authorities hunting for ways to stop the increasing violence.
Twenty-seven people under the age of 25 have been stabbed to death in London since the start of 2017, according to figures from city hall.
The alarming figure is but ‘the tip of the iceberg’, according to Patrick Green from the Ben Kinsella Trust, an educational organisation set up in memory of a teenage stabbing victim.
Police registered more than 12,100 knife attacks which left 4,400 people injured between April last year and March, the highest figure in five years.
“Many of the victims of stabbing are left with permanent disabilities, permanent scars, and the most awful disability which isn’t reported is the mental trauma,” Green told AFP.
“The fact that you recover doesn’t mean that you return to your normal life,” he added.
In contrast to widely held perceptions, the majority of attacks are unrelated to organised crime. Three out of four cases involve individuals who carry a knife because they believe it will make them feel safer.
“This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, where young people equip themselves with a knife and in doing so significantly up the ante of their chances of becoming a knife victim,” said Bernard Hogan Howe, the former head of London’s Metropolitan Police who retired last year.
One proposal to cut knife crime was announced on Tuesday by Interior Minister Amber Rudd, who wants to ban the possession of weapons such as zombie knives and knuckledusters on private properties.
As part of a planned consultation on knife crime, the government will also examine whether to extend a ban on possessing a knife in public places and schools to include universities.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has spearheaded a £7mn programme, which includes schools where knife crime is prevalent being given metal detectors.