Socialist Worker

Knife crime: Survey reveals young people’s growing fears

by Sian Ruddick
Issue No. 2112

Politicians and the media continue to call for crackdowns on young people as the way to deal with knife crime.

But a new survey has revealed that the police’s aggressive strategy of stop and search and harassment of young people is not making people feel any safer.

BBC London conducted a survey of young people between 13 to 18 years old.

The results show that many young people are concerned about the impact knife crime has on their communities and friends.

They also show how young people feel about the way the government and police are tackling the problem.

Some 75 percent don’t think London mayor Boris Johnson and the government will be able to reduce knife crime in London over the coming months while 63 percent say they feel the police are unable to protect them.

Knife crime is presented as something out of control, which goes hand in hand with the breakdown of the family.

But any understanding of knife crime must start from the social conditions and demonisation that young people face at the hands of authorities and the media.

Young black people face racism within the education system, which increasingly is leading towards exclusions.

Many working class young people are alienated and disillusioned within our schools.

There are massive shortages in facilities and spaces for young people to spend their free time, which compounds the problem.

The “crackdown” on knife crime that the government has launched is making people feel less safe and is not solving the issue.

It will take a collective fight to tackle the racism, poverty, deprivation and inequality that causes knife crime.

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Article information

Tue 29 Jul 2008, 18:10 BST
Issue No. 2112
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