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UK Police Say Knife Crime is on the Rise, Blame the Internet

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Knife - Sputnik International
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Latest figures show that knife crime has risen by 13 percent across the UK - and by 18 percent in London. Ten teenagers have been stabbed to death in Britain's capital in the last nine months.

Violence between children is the third leading cause of death among young people in Europe. Around 40 percent of deaths are down to knives and sharp instruments. And the rise in knife crime on Britain's streets is, according to a top cop in London, down to the Internet.

Commander Duncan Bell, head of Scotland Yard's team to tackle gang crime told Sky news in the UK that the availability of blades on the Internet and in small shops has led to an increase in the number of stabbings.

Commander Bell says the reported rise in attacks is down to two factors. One, police are recording crimes better. Two, people are turning to the Internet for weapons.

"Perhaps more concerning is the availability of knives — particularly from the Internet and some small independent retailers, and some of those knives are specialist knives that could only be used for one purpose — to hurt people."

In 2014, restrictions were placed on police officers using stop and search powers to look for drugs, weapons, such as knives or stolen property that might be carried by a suspect.

According to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, 27% percent of searches conducted in 2013 did not contain reasonable grounds for suspicion and concern remains that it is disproportionately applied to people from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background.

But the recent rise in knife crime recorded on Britain's streets is not down to a reduction of stop and search, Commander Ball told British media. He believes the police force is now targeting suspects more effectively.

Meanwhile, slashes to Educational Maintenance Allowances (EMA), slicing back on free school meals, cutting housing benefit for young people, as well as cutting funds for youth clubs is seen by many British youths as a stab in the back by the government, which may be why so many resort to picking up knives in the first place.

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