Despite strict gun control and overall low crime levels, knife attacks continue to plague the United Kingdom. This past Friday, two teenagers died within moments of one another, both victims of stabbings. Last year, over 40,000 people were victims of knife or other sharp object crimes.
This marks an increase of 10,000 from 2011 and the fifth consecutive year that knife crimes rose. Who and what is to blame? That depends largely upon who you ask. Ask U.S. President Donald Trump and he’ll likely point to his bitter rival, London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Talk to Khan, and he’ll note that the Conservative government has forced London and other cities to make steep cuts to their police forces.
Overall, the rise in knife attacks seems to correspond with youth crime and gang activity. As for why youth crime and gang activity are on the rise, experts remain flummoxed.
While plenty of fingers are being pointed, solutions remain elusive. Local police forces have drawn flak for seemingly ridiculous plans. In one stance, a local police force gave domestic violence victims blunt knives, believing it’d discourage stabbings. Conservative MP Scott Mann suggested that every knife be fitted with a GPS tracker.
Grocery stores are stepping up efforts as well by refusing to sell individual knives, forcing people to buy entire sets. In theory, this could discourage criminals from picking up cheap, disposable knives. Social media bans and curfews for youths are also being considered. Authorities hope such measures could discourage youths from joining gangs.