Following the knife crime epidemic, during the recent parliamentary session the Prime Minister Theresa May echoed comments by the Met Chief Cressida Dick that the government cannot “arrest their way out of the knife crime problem” Was she right? What can be done about knife crime? And more importantly what is the cause of knife crime. We review why the PM is right in this particular case, and how perhaps the knife crime problem might be tackled.
There has been a steady increase in knife crime in the UK. While most people agree that this problem has to stop, very few people know exactly how to tackle the problem. Some are calling for more stop and searches and more police on the beat, while this might help stop a few knife carrying hoodlums from being able to perpetrate violent acts it will not eradicate the problem. It would actually require a one on one search on any and every person that might perform a violent act. This is not a realistic expectation, as there are other services which require the support of the police.
Also, arresting and criminalising a whole generation, mainly from 13 years old and above is not the answer. As within those arrested there might have been those who would grow up to become future policemen, politicians, doctors, engineers, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Who might be for whatever reasons, in the wrong situation. Criminalising because those who go to prison will have a criminal record, which will stop them from being able to return to public life as a working adult, and would only lead to them turning to a criminal life style. So the PM Theresa May was right when she said “we can’t arrest our way out of the problem” This view was supported separately, by a mother who lost her son to knife crime. She commented on the issue while speaking to SkyNews, when she said people tend to stay away from crime, when they have something doing or something to look forward.
This is perhaps where the government needs to focus on, that is creating more equal opportunities for all, especially for those less fortunate in society and minorities. Having a whole generation with very few good role models in education, science, business and politics to look up to is not a good policy for any country let alone a leading country like the UK. This is due to the fact that those who perpetrate such crimes, usually come from single parent homes where, the father figure is not around, due of hardcore government policies (economic, social, legal or otherwise). Add to this the fact that, the mother or father is working two to three jobs, trying to make ends meat keep a roof over their children’s heads. So, implementing such harsh policies that, targets minorities and the vulnerable in society even further, while criminalising them does not solve the problem. If anything it only postpones it and makes it worst. Our prisons are already struggling to cope with the over crowded, outdated processes and systems. In Scandinavia their prisons are mostly empty.
In Glasgow, which was once the knife crime capital of Europe. They have managed to reduce knife crimes significantly, through the creation of opportunities for the most vulnerable in society, bringing businesses which created jobs in areas previously suffering from poverty and desperation. This was done in close collaboration with social policies and community policing. No one really wants to be supported by government aid, most people want to be self sufficient, they want to be able to provide for themselves and their families. Also they want to be included in all areas of society and be able to determine their future, regardless of where they are born, the colour of their skin or their beliefs.
The government and all parties must be commended for including people from minorities and different religions. However, there is still a lot to be done, especially in businesses, technology and society as a whole, where there is still a glass ceiling which no one really likes to talk about. For example, if you were to ask any person in the UK to name 5 successful people in business or technology from minorities, most people would struggle. Sport seems to be the only avenue open to those where knife crimes are high. This is quite different from the United States of America or Canada where, there tends to be people of every race and religion in all aspect of society, business and technology not just politics. So yes, the PM and Met Chief are right in saying “we cannot arrest our way out of the problem”