KNIFE CRIME CRISIS
There were 45,627 offences involving knives or sharp instruments recorded by police in 2019, a 7% rise from 2018, and 49% increase from 2011 - when comparable records began (Office for National Statistics, 2020). Many young people, families, and communities have experienced the loss and devastating effects of knife crime. It is a complex national problem with many factors coming into play: an increase in gang recruitment, sense of identity from gang membership, revenge attacks, postcode wars, and a distorted belief that carrying a knife is safer for protection purposes.
Music Relief is dedicated to tackling knife crime.
We deliver immersive and powerful education programs among schools and communities and engage young people in positive after school activities to prevent them from joining a life of gang violence and criminal activity.
We continually collaborate with police officials, communities, council members, and young people to discuss everyone’s role, solutions, factors contributing to participation in criminal activity, and relevant topics such as lack of opportunities, well-being, stop and search, and the dynamic relationship between police and young people.
On 9th April 2019, Music Relief Foundation (MRF) released two booklets, under the support of
professional footballer Wilfried Zaha, at Crystal Palace Football Club. The booklet acts as a guide for
activists and policymakers to run effective campaigns in tackling knife crime.
In attendance amongst community members and youth organisation leaders were: Phil Alexander - CEO of Crystal Palace Football Club, Bernadette Khan - Madam Mayor of Croydon, Bartholomew Konechni - Researcher, Jonathan Bob-Amara - Chair of the board of directors of MRF and Jonathan Toy - Croydon Council.
We believe that knife crime can only be tackled when all parties involved work together to collaborate and with transparency at the core of work. As such, we have held several discussions over the years to bring wider issues to light, discuss solutions, track progress, and bring together diverse perspectives.
A Music Relief seminar held at Royal Society of Arts London, discussing factors that influence youth culture and behaviour. Topics explored include: the media perception, knife crime, the correlation between school exclusions and rise in county lines, drill music, domestic abuse, young opinions, modern day slavery and adverse childhood experiences (ACE's).
This workshop followed our booklet launch - various professionals, researchers, practitioners, and the Queen's representative deputy lieutenant was in attendance.
Held at Parliament, Youths Matter was an engaging, interactive, informative discussion forum. Gathered were youths, police, MP's and community leaders. The event challenged all parties involved around knife crime and debated what needs to be done to stop more young people from dying needlessly. The event also included a speech delivered by mother who lost her son to knife crime.