Recess is a fantastic time for young adults, who are on their summer holidays from school, to come into my office and gain some work experience. I try and accommodate everyone who asks and am so grateful for their fantastic input! Below is a blog from Joseph from Elephant and Castle who came in last week to gain some experience before going on to study Politics in sixth form.
Knife Crime by Joseph
Knife crime is on the rise and not much is being done to stop it. In Southwark alone the amount of knife crime incidents in the last year has risen by 48%. The latest Metropolitan police statistics show that there were 254 knife crime with injury incidents in the last year. It is clear to see that knife crime is a major concern for our community and it needs to be tackled.
It was reported recently that Southwark has the worst record in London for solving knife crime cases. The current conviction rate for Southwark knife crime cases currently stands at 15.4%. This statistic is horrifying as it means that the majority of people who commit these crimes are never brought to justice and face no punishment. This also includes murders, which means that parents who will suffer for the rest of their life as a result of losing their son or daughter will also have to live with the pain of knowing that justice was not served and their child’s murder was left unsolved.
These tragedies are occurring more and more often, there must be an explanation for this. Well, there is really only one real explanation to why knife crime is on the rise and why conviction rates are falling. The Metropolitan police simply do not have the resources to solve these tragic cases. This is because since 2010 when the Conservatives regained power to run the country, instead of making citizens feel safer they have made citizens feel less safe and have placed crime along with other youth issues to the back of their priority list. Under the Conservative government the number of police officers have been cut by 20,000, while in Southwark the number of police PSCO’s in local areas have been reduced by 200. Crime has increased because there is no longer a police presence in the local area due to police cuts by the Tory government, and the conviction rate has fallen due to the lack of resources in the Metropolitan police due to cuts by the Tory government.
It is clear that to see that knife crime is not on the government’s agenda and so it is clear that the best way to tackle knife crime is to place it on the government’s agenda and make it the government’s priority. The job of the Tory government is to represent the people and so we, the people must make it clear that we want more police officers on our streets, more opportunities made available for us young people so that we do not need to result to crime to make a living, and regular engagement with the youth in the local community. Our local MP Neil Coyle will continue to question Prime Minister Theresa May on this issue to ensure that knife crime is placed on the government’s agenda, while we, the local community must get in contact with the local council, and ensure that crime is placed on their agenda. I believe that once knife crime is given priority there will be a change.
As a young person in the local community I think there are two main ways to solve knife crime. Firstly on a practical level I think that there needs to be more police officers in local areas to prevent knife incidents and ensure safety among citizens. Secondly, I think that there needs to be more opportunities and education provided for people, such as more youth clubs and events to push people young and old away from crime but towards a brighter future. There needs to be an understanding among the community that no matter where you come from, no matter who you are, there is a place for you in society and that not everyone will become a millionaire but that there is an opportunity to move away from a life of crime to a happier, more fruitful life.