Knife Crime

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Knife Crime
Knife Crime
This lesson deal with the issue of knife crime in modern Britain.
Read through the PPT and answer the questions on the last slide.
Knife Crime in the UK
Knife crime is a particularly big issue in the news at the moment (apart
from Covid-19!) This is following a number of knife attacks on people,
particularly in London, over the past year.
After falling for several years, the amount of knife crime in England and
Wales is rising again. Out of the 44 police forces across the areas, 42
recorded a rise in knife crime since 2015.
Figures released in February showed the number of deaths as a result of
knife crime in England and Wales last year was 285 – the highest since
records began in 1946.
In November 2019, there were reports that there had been a rise in the
number of children under 18 receiving treatment for knife wounds in
England, with the number of young victims having increased by 85% in
the last four years.
The government has said that it is working to deal with the problem, but
a lot of people are angry and say that the problem is not being dealt with
effectively.
Although the figures suggest that knife crime is on the increase, it is still
relatively unusual for a violent incident to involve a knife – and rarer still
for someone to need hospital treatment.
Overall levels of violence (for example, including physical fights) have in
fact fallen by about a quarter since 2015.
Why is knife crime on the increase?
Many people believe that those who carry knives are simply criminals and
that what is needed is more police officers on the streets.
Some experts argue that often it is a fear of gangs and crime that leads to
young people carrying knives, because they believe it will help to keep
them safe. The trouble is that those weapons may then be used, which
could make the number of violent incidents go up.
Others say that young people get involved with gangs and knife crime
because they lack opportunities in life.
They say there are too few services provided to help and support young
people, including education, mental health services and youth centres.
The controversial film
‘Blue Story’ deals with the
issue of gangs in the UK
What are laws about carrying a knife?
There are lots of different rules about carrying a knife, but for the most part
it is illegal to carry a knife in public without a good reason.
It is also illegal to use any knife in a threatening way.
If you are found to be carrying a knife in the UK, there could be serious
punishments.
What is stop and search?
One thing that you might have heard being talked about in relation to knife
crime is something called ‘stop-and-search’.
As the name might suggest, stop-and-search is a police practice in which
a police officer can stop a person briefly to check that they are not carrying
any weapons or illegal items – for example, a knife.
There are certain things that police are and aren’t allowed to do during
stop-and-search, and certain things they have to do (for example, show
their credentials and tell the person what they suspect them of carrying).
Over the last few years, the use of stop-and-search by police officers has
declined.
What can be done?
The UK’s top police officer Cressida Dick has said: “Now is the time for all
of us – the public in our communities, across London, across the country,
politicians – to say to ourselves ‘What else can be done? What can we do
to prevent young people getting involved with knife crime?’“
Manchester City ex-captain Vincent Kompany has voiced his opinion too,
saying that young people need “the right amount of education and support
at every level” to help prevent knife crime.
In 2018, it was announced that adverts aimed at teenagers would be
shared on social media and digital channels to try to make young people
more aware of the dangers of knife crime. Posters would also be put up in
cities in England where knife crime is more common.
Read the article ‘Knife Crime on the Rise’
Complete the two worksheets (‘Knife Crime in the UK’ and
‘Crime and Punishment’).
If you are unable to print them off, take a photo and share with me.
Then answer these two questions
[01] Why do you think knife crime is in the increase?
[02] What is the best way to tackle the problem of knife crime?
(Write a paragraph for each of these questions)

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