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Knife crime: what’s going on?

7:30pm, Wednesday 26 June 2019, The Sun (not the Sun Tavern), 21 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5RH

Violent crime is on the rise in the UK, with year-on-year increases in knife crime prompting the prime minister to host a summit of experts. Everything from falling police numbers and rising school exclusions to gang culture and austerity have been blamed.

If, as the government insists, the country can’t arrest its way out of the problem, what should it do? The use of controversial stop-and-search powers have been drastically cut back, and a preventative, public-health approach, designed to stop knife crime from happening in the first place, is being adopted in its place.

While the old police-led response is seen as discriminatory, will new prevention orders and the proposed duty on teachers, medics and local authorities to report suspicions of a young person’s involvement in knife crime be any less divisive? Will the new approach be more concerned with identifying and tackling root causes, as its advocates claim? Or does the outraged reaction to columnist Rod Liddle’s linking of knife crime with black single parenthood, suggest there exists a stifling climate not conducive to frank and open debate?

This is a joint event with the AoI Social Policy Forum and the AoI Parents Forum.


David Clements
convenor, AoI Social Policy Forum

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