|Samuel Baker (15) stabbed to death in the Low Edges |
area of Sheffield on May 24th this year. His
killer was another fifteen year old boy.
Sheffield is famous for knives. Even today, some of the best knives in the world are made here
However, in recent months, knives have been hitting the local headlines for a very different reason. Knife crime is on the rise in some neighbourhoods and this has resulted in several deaths and stabbing injuries. It is very concerning.
It's the same in London - but on a bigger scale. This year 115 people have been stabbed to death in the capital. The victims are nearly all young men of Afro-Caribbean heritage. Frequently, gang issues related to territory, drugs and/or grudges are at the heart of these horrible attacks but sometimes innocent passers-by have been targeted and there have been several cases of mistaken identity.
Thank God it's very hard for people to get hold of guns in this country. There seems to be a lot of anger out there - amongst young men with little status and limited prospect of making something of their lives through honest endeavour. They often come from broken, chaotic homes and no doubt enjoy films that include violence and killing. The same with computer games.
Something is amiss. It is too easy to focus in on the perpetrators of knife crime. Society and government should be looking closely at how our young people are schooled. We should be looking at youth services and pathways to work and we should be looking at policing and the alleviation of poverty. Several factors underlie the rise in knife crime and if they are not addressed as a matter of urgency the problem will only grow bigger and many more young men will die.
What can be done? What do you think? ...Rest in peace Samuel Baker.