SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, 1 May 2017

Knife crime: Children to hidden blades


This blog post differs greatly from my previous ones and at first I thought I would have to justify my reasoning for posting this on a mental health blog. However, I came to the conclusion that it is an important topic that needs to be touched upon and that is all the justification needed. 

*This is a post which has undergone a lot of research and all of the links used for research can be found at the end of the post.*

Knife crime is growing and these days BBC news flashes up with another knife crime death in London and whilst we sigh with a brief moment of sadness for the victim we very quickly move on with our lives. That's because London stabbings are becoming a more frequent occurrence (I speak of London as that is the city that I hear most of due to my location in the UK. However, the knife crime capital is actually Cleveland in the North East of the UK). According to the Met Police knife crime has seen an increase of 24% and unless you haven't been checking the news recently, you will know that between April 22nd and April 28th of this year 6 deaths by knife occurred, one of which was believed to be gang related. It is important to pause here for a second as when thinking about knife crime the first thing that springs to mind is that these people must be a part of a gang. However, only one of last weeks stabbings was gang related meaning that the other 5 were just people who were carrying knifes on them. A scary concept as you can never know who is carrying one.


In 2016 32,448 knife crime incidents were recorded throughout the UK, an extremely scary figure. Carrying a knife seems to be becoming the norm in certain areas of the UK and this is an incredibly scary concept. However, what are people doing to combat this? It doesn't appear that schools are doing much to educate their pupils about knife crime and it doesn't seem like parents are tackling the subject either. In fact knife crime doesn't seem to be spoken about at all unless in terms of someone else being a victim of it. Knife crime begins with people carrying knifes and so this is the issue that needs to be tackled. 


If you have the time please watch the following short film on knife crime and show it to your loved ones, especially people who you think could be influenced into carrying a knife. It will take 16 minutes of your day but I promise that it will be 16 minutes well spent.  Either copy and past the following link into your search bar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIydCG8lFYQ) or search "Deep It" into Youtube and it will be the first video that appears. 


The victims of knife crime are different throughout the country, "The profile of the young people killed in London this year is very different from those who have died elsewhere in the country. Fourteen children and teens have been killed by knives across Britain so far this year. [...] The average age of the children killed outside London is 12; a third of them are girls; eight are white and one is Asian. The average age of those killed in London is 18; they are all boys and they are all black." (The Guardian) This quotation shows how knife crime in London is very different to knife crime elsewhere in the UK and so it really is about educating EVERYONE about knife crime and not just those who we feel may be vulnerable in London. 


However, when discussing the subject of knife crime it all begins with an individual carrying a sharp object. We need to try to comprehend why people are driven to carry a sharp object in order to tackle knife crime. 15% of young people know someone who carries a knife and my younger brother is one of them and as someone who used to carry blades with him I have asked him to write a piece for this post. 


"From a young age I was always interested in weapons, knifes, guns etc. At the age of 11, I was given my first knife by my dad and from that age he kept on giving me knives (to be used in the wilderness just like he had had knifes growing up too). It had never crossed my mind to take them out or to show my friends. However, as I turned 13 my mum got sick with a brain tumour which scared me and with my young mind, I thought I would take the three knifes that my dad got me and that I would take them to my mums house (they are divorced by the way). At this point, I still didn't take them to school or carry them around in public, I just kept them under my pillow for protection as I was scared for the future. As time moved on, I found some razor blades at my dad's house, I knew I wouldn't use them to harm people, I just thought it would be something cool to have on me. One day, at school in P.E, my mate saw the blade and he too thought it was cool and wanted one. I wasn't sure at the time but he mentioned paying me for it and I thought that it would be an easy business. So the day came and I gave him some blades and of course he thought it was cool to show everyone and in the process a teacher saw and he told them where he got them from. Me. I  got into a lot of trouble for dealing and carrying blades which led me to being suspended from school and I lost the trust of both my parents.There is more and more knife crime and young people need to be made aware so that it can be prevented. I am lucky that nothing bad happened to me but what I would say to you is; if you carry a knife or sharp object  you don't know how someone will react under pressure."    


Unfortunately knife crime is on the rise and unless we as a society do something to educate todays youth about its dangers the figures will continue to soar. My brother is within the age range to be the most influenced into carrying a knife, a concept which is extraordinarily scary. However, because we are aware of this we have had countless chats with him. But for the other people who don't realise their their siblings, children, friends are at risk, the conversations aren't being had until something awful happens. 


Please talk to your loved ones about the dangers of carrying a knife for the consequences hurt more than just the victim. 


Please consult the following websites for more information. 


  •  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/29/knife-crime-14-gang-warfare-becoming-embedded-culture/
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33547806
  • http://noknivesbetterlives.com/young-people
  • http://www.knifecrimes.org/


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