Knife Crime

There is a horrifying account by Eleanor Mills in today's Sunday Times under the title

"Help, a boy's been knifed in my garden.".

(I would post a link, but it's behind a paywall.)

Essentially two teenage ganges had a fight a few hundred yards away from her house, and a fifteen-year-old member of one gang ran away from it, pursued by two boys from the other gang: he was trying to hide in the journalist's front garden, and the other boys slashed his throat.

This took place at 6.30 pm on a Tuesday afternoon in a London suburb as the author and her friend were about to go out of the front door with five little girls aged from two to eight - if they had been thirty seconds earlier getting moving, those girls would have seen the whole thing.

There was a rapid response to the 999 call, the ambulance and police got there in time to save the boy's life - just.

Most cases of similar stabbings never make it to court, because a reluctance by the victimes to "grass" on the perpetrators makes it difficult to get convictions. And as a result, complete contempt for human life among a segment of our young people as reached disastrous proportions, often with fatal results.

Eleanor Mills suggests that the techniques used by police to persuade the CPS to prosecute in domestic violence cases where victims refuse to press charges should also be applied to teenage gang assaults: use of photographs of injuries, witness statements, circumstantial evidence.

If there were easy answers to this sort of crime, they would already have been put into effect. But we need to make sure that the gangs realise that they are not above the law.


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