Sunday, 20 July 2008

Like a hot knife

The hottest topic for every tabloid during this year's silly season (apart of course from Lembit Opik's love life) seems to be the worthy topic of knife crime.

But how much good are they actually doing?

The News of the World ran a piece on the topic today, which annoyed me for various reasons; Firstly its based on an online poll of 16-24 year olds, yet its written as if its the answer to knife crime. I doubt, somehow, these lot managed to come up with too many revelations on their break from Facebook.

Secondly in an interview with a former knife carrier (run alongside the piece, but not included in the online story), he says that longer jail terms would not act as a deterrent and that jail is were where you 'go in a petty (criminal) and come out a don,' adding that you 'make all the contacts you need' for criminal enterprise.
Despite this the main story tells us that what's needed is longer sentences, as does the NotW's Save our Streets campaign.

Now I'm not surprised to see right wing posturing on prison sentences in the red tops, but why run the interview just to ignore its findings?

Thirdly and on a wider note, whenever asked 'why do you carry a knife?' the response is invariably for protection from other knife wielders.

Is it any wonder youths look to arm themselves when they go out to face the world they have read and heard about from the media? Basically all the hype about knife crime is a self fulfilling prophecy.

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