Will 2020 bring an improvement in knife crime?
It’s a new year and a new decade but so far little seems to have changed when it comes to knife crime in the UK. Once again the new year was welcomed with a number of stabbings across the country, several took place in the early hours of new year’s day and one involving children as young as 13.
Last year saw the highest number of knife crime offences, with numbers increasing 7% between June 2018 and June 2019. September 2019 also holds the record for the highest number of offences in England and Wales for people carrying knives since 2007. Every news bulletin seemed to contain a story about a stabbing. In London 149 people were murdered, with 90 of these crimes committed with the use of knives.
However, there are positive steps being taken to address the problem. Many community groups and charities across the country are carrying out projects to educate and support those most vulnerable to crime and those trying to change their lives.
The Prime Minister will be heading up a new cabinet committee to combat knife crime and serious violence.
Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, has confirmed that Scotland yard are working to reduce violent crime through an increase in the number of officers on the streets and an increase in the use of targeted, intelligence led stop and search. She also added that police officers will visit schools and pupil referral units over the next year, working with children in an aim to divert them from becoming involved in crime.
Results of a trial of body scanners, carried out by the British Transport Police at Stratford Station in London at the end of last year are currently being reviewed. The scanners monitor body heat to reveal any concealed weapons and have been implemented successfully in train stations in the United States.
And the knife angel sculpture, currently in Newtown, Wales, is still on the move around the UK, bringing awareness and attention to the UK’s knife crime epidemic. It visited nine towns and cities in 2019 and has a full schedule planned for 2020, including stops in Wolverhampton and Nottingham.