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Knife, acid and scooter crime: What can be done?

1st October 2018
  • ResPublica

Discussion Summary:

More than 40,000 knife crimes were recorded in England and Wales for the year to March 2018 — up 16% on the previous year – the highest number since records began in 2011. Alongside this, the number of reported acid attacks in London rose six-fold between 2012 and 2017, while the number of moped-enabled crimes doubled in 2017.

The panel will debate and discuss the policies and approaches that could be used to help tackle this rise in violent crime, what policies have helped in the past, what misconceptions exist on its causes, which of them lead to ineffective actions against it, and what creative ways exist to make the most of the limited budgets available to local authorities for policing and prevention.

More specifically, we will ask about the effectiveness of contentious stop and search powers, whose use by police forces has dropped since 2014 when the Home Office announced a package of reforms aimed at reducing the disproportionate targeting of young black men. Has the decrease in the use of these powers contributed to this rise in violent crime? Or, has stop and search always been ineffectual in targeting those carrying offensive weapons?

We will also turn our attention to the importance of preventative, as well as frontline, policies. As London’s Police and Crime Plan says, ‘prevention is key to protecting young people and reducing crime over the long-term.’ But how can government enact these goals of preventing violent crime? Should we look at increasing budgets for young peoples’ services? Also, as the Mayor of London announced this month, the new Violence Reduction Unit will treat violent crime as a public health issue. How much can we learn from public health interventions in places like Glasgow? How will they work in cities like London, which have different demographics and varied challenges?

Finally, we will discuss some of the drivers of these violent crimes, and what policies we need to address them. Is the sale of illegal drugs linked to the rise in violent crime, and if so, does government need to tackle the two issues in a holistic way? What role does the rise of social media play in fuelling disputes that often lead to violence? How can government and social media companies work together to tackle these issues?

We are delighted to be joined by a fantastic panel of speakers, including:

  • Fiona Hamilton, Crime and Security Editor, The Times
  • Sophie Linden, London Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime
  • Niven Rennie, Director – Violence Reduction Unit, Police Scotland
  • Andrew Boff AM
  • Javed Khan, Chief Executive, Barnardo’s

Join us at the Library of Birmingham from 5:45pm until 7pm on Monday 1st October.

Register your interest here


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