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The UK knife crime epidemic: alarming rise in knife crime leaves five teens dead

Knife crime on the rise.

This week Birmingham mourns the tragic deaths of Abdullah Muhammed, 16; Hazrat Umar, stabbed in broad daylight in Bordesley Green, and Sidali Mohamed, 16, who was knifed outside Joseph Chamberlain College, Birmingham. Shockingly, these deaths happened within the space of only 12 days. Birmingham residents have taken to Twitter to express their shock and disbelief.

Birmingham was not the only city to be hit by this surge in stabbings these past few weeks, other cities have seen a rise too. Yousef Ghaleb Makki, 17, was knifed in Manchester this week and 17-year-old Jodie Chesney from east London suffered a similar fate; she was stabbed in an unprovoked attack whilst playing with friends at a park.

Are these stabbings part of a bigger problem, that is only now finally being addressed? 

This week has seen knife crime thrown into the media spotlight, however, this has been an ongoing issue for years. Public pressure is on the government now to tackle this serious issue. According to statistics, 2019 has seen around 400 reported stabbings in the UK, and the number of murders where offenders have used a knife or sharp object has sharply risen by 77% from 2016 to 2018.  The recent killings and these statistics suggest knife crime is on the rise and if effective action is not taken by the government, we will lose many more young people in this tragic way.

What is the government doing about this?

Victoria Atkins, Home Office minister, claims that this week alone in a bid to tackle knife crime, police have confiscated over 9,000 knives from the streets and more than 1,000 arrests have been made. This, however, is not a long term solution and is 9,000 knives is not enough. So what else is the government doing about this?

Home secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed he will meet police chiefs this week to discuss what can be done to tackle this issue.

Former Met commissioner, Lord Bernard Hogan-Howe proposes the government replace the 20,000 officers that have been cut since 2010.

According to the Home Office, 'an extra £970m in police funding is proposed for 2019-20.'

According to Gov.uk, the government is introducing new crime prevention orders: 'the new civil orders will also restrict behaviour by placing curfews and geographical restrictions on individuals as well as limiting their social media use—preventing the rapid escalation of rival disputes. To ensure compliance with these restrictions, breach of the order will be a criminal offence and the holder can be sent to prison for two years if convicted.'

Is the government doing enough to tackle knife crime? And if not, what do you think are the solutions? These are some of the questions raised by the recent stabbings, and until this issue is sorted, many more young lives will be lost.

Tell us what you think by tweeting us - @UniNewsHQ