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    Prof on UK Knife Crime: None of Govt Propositions Target Underlying Issues

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    With London seeing another knife attack earlier this week, it seems that the rise of this type of crime shows no sign of abating. Sputnik spoke with Dr Simon Harding, Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of West London to get his views on how the situation can de-escalate.

    Sputnik: What has caused the increase in UK knife crime?

    Dr Simon Harding: Well as we know, knife crime and fatalities due to knife crime have reached their highest peak in England and Wales for the last seventy years, and really since records have been collected on this topic.

    What lies behind it is a complex and complicated pattern of activity. We know for example, that knife crime is a key element of domestic violence, we also know it's a key element of night time economy violence, and that's often drink or alcohol related, for example fights when pubs or clubs close.

    We also know that it's central to urban street gangs, wider forms of youth violence, and emerging changes and shifts in drug supply across the country.

    Sputnik: What can be done to reduce violent knife crime?

    Dr Simon Harding: Again, it's not an easy topic to devise into policy. Most recently the government has suggested knife crime prevention orders; these are orders that will be taken against people who have been convicted already of knife carrying, or knife usage, and these orders will prevent them from carrying knifes in the future.

    Perhaps like me, you're of the opinion that that's not going to have the any real effect at all, that's certainly my view, and it's bolting the door after the horse has gone.

    Another option from the government is to provide ankle bracelets, electronic monitoring for people. It might be more effective; but none of these propositions really target the underlying issue, and that is the culture that has developed amongst some young people, that knife carrying and knife usage is the way forward.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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