Can we blame the economic crisis for the sudden headlining news involving knife crime?

However, the knife attacks that have been occurring recently have spurred many teenagers to carry knives for protection, and for those ‘just in case’ moments. Those who have been victims of knife crime especially now feel the need to carry knives themselves. It seems that we have entered into a cycle that is in danger of spiralling out of control. Despite the government deciding to be less lenient with those carrying weapons, it remains the case that many youths are carrying the weapons in order to feel secure; a type of security they obviously feel the government cannot provide. There is also the problem of a growing gang culture in urban communities which some believe is the reason for the recent knife attacks. These gangs are usually comprised of teenagers who do not receive the support and care they need at home or at school. When gangs are formed out of a lack of guidance, surely the solution is to provide them with the help they need? This however would be simplifying the problem, and the solution is far easier said than done.

The government has recently announced a new multi-million pound scheme to stop teenagers joining gangs, and it is therefore strange to note that the government has stopped funding the DonÂ’t Trigger project. It is one of the most successful anti-gun and knife crime projects that we have here in the UK. Whilst the governmentÂ’s new scheme focuses largely on punishment and stricter policing, the DonÂ’t Trigger Project focuses mostly on deterring teenagers from a life in crime by sending messages through music and videos. The project has been successful because of the way it uses media to attract teenagers. There is no doubt that a teenager would react more positively to music that they can relate to, than a policeman carrying a truncheon. The government comes across as such a stern body, something that the DonÂ’t Trigger project has tried to avoid.. As the government continues to ponder on what to do, communities are also banding together to organise peace rallies. Not only do peace rallies attract media attention but they also allow a positive outlet for bereaved friends and families of the victims of knife crime. Surely if the government allowed funding for the DonÂ’t Trigger project, then they wouldnÂ’t have to set up multi-million pound schemes which in the end would only add to the alienated feeling troubled teenagers feel.

But going back to my initial question – the British Crime Survey report for 2006/2007 has showed that crime rates were higher in urban, less affluent towns. The credit crunch has acted as a further strain on less affluent families; it would not be unreasonable to expect to see crime rates increase as a result. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has acknowledged that crime rates usually do increase in times of economical turmoil, and that we should expect this increase. The governmentÂ’s new scheme does plan to help those living in areas where crime rates are higher, and hopefully when the scheme has been put into action we may all see a positive change. It would make more sense, however, to see already successful organizations, such as the DonÂ’t Trigger project, receive funding. DonÂ’t Trigger in particular, has made great progress, and seems to understand the audience that it is trying to appeal to.

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