Knife crime can have devastating effects on young people, families and communities. It is a complex national problem with many related factors: an increase in gang recruitment, a sense of identity from gang membership, revenge attacks, postcode wars, and a distorted belief that carrying a knife is safer for protection purposes.

The numbers


offences involving knives or 45,627sharp instruments in 2019


rise in knife crime from 2018 [SB: compared to 2019?]


Increase in knife crime from 2011 [SB: compared to 2019?]

Our impact

Music Relief Foundation is dedicated to tackling knife crime. We deliver immersive and powerful education programmes in schools and communities. We also aim to engage young people in positive after-school activities to prevent them from becoming involved in criminal behaviour. We collaborate with police, local communities, council members and young people to discuss the issue, considering factors that contribute to participation in criminal activity and relevant topics such as lack of opportunities, wellbeing, stop and search, and the relationship between police and young people. We believe that knife crime can only be tackled when all parties work together with transparency at the core of the 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.

The numbers

Campaign On 9 April 2019, Music Relief Foundation (MRF) released two booklets, with the support of professional footballer Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace. The booklet acts as a guide for activists and policymakers to run effective campaigns in tackling knife crime.

In attendance among 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

• Jonathan Toy – Croydon Council

Past events

2020 Who holds the narrative?

A Music Relief seminar held at Royal Society of Arts London, discussing factors that influence youth culture and behaviour. Topics explored included: the media perception, knife crime, the correlation between school exclusions and a rise in county lines, drill music, domestic abuse, young opinions, modern day slavery and adverse childhood experiences. SB: If the image depicts someone at the event, perhaps include her name/what she spoke about?

2019 London Wide Launch

This workshop followed our booklet launch — various professionals, researchers, practitioners and the Queen’s representative deputy lieutenant were in attendance.

2017 Youths Matter Knife Crime Debate

Held at Parliament, Youths Matter was an engaging, interactive, informative discussion forum between young people, police, MPs and community leaders. The event challenged all parties involved about 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 a mother who lost her son to knife crime. (SB: pictured?)


Our ambassadors at More Than Able (MTA) are a dynamic team of volunteers aged 11–25 years. They work together to tackle youth barriers within society, engage with policymakers, support Music Relief Foundation (MRF) to represent the voices of young people and improve the disconnect and communication between young people and relevant stakeholders (e.g parents, teachers, communities and council representatives).



In November 2019, our ambassadors launched a social action campaign called Give Youths A Voice. The campaign used the power of music and film to explore knife crime, mental health problems, life as a young person today, living in Croydon, police encounters and stereotyping.


Through the Change Campaign, we aim to collaborate with local businesses and provide valuable training to young people aged 16–25 years to help them in their career and improve their employability skills.


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