Have you been effected by knife or gun crime? Do you know somebody who has? Is knife & gun crime on the rise in your local area? How can you keep yourself, family and friend’s safe? In this blog, I will explain what exactly knife & gun crime is, their effects, and give tips how to stay safe in your local community I will also give my own thoughts and experiences of knife and gun crime.
Knives and guns are used to commit many crimes ranging from murder to theft. The guns are obviously used to shoot someone and a knife to stab. Some people may just use them as a threat to get what they want i.e. trying to rob somebody. It is against the law in the UK to carry a knife or gun, threaten someone with a knife or gun, commit a crime with the use of a weapon i.e. robbery, and commit a crime pretending to have a knife or gun.
If you carry a gun or knife you are more likely to;
- Be attacked or threatened by other gangs who use weapons
- Be arrested by the police
- Kill or injure yourself badly with a weapon
- Hurt or kill others with your weapon
- Hurt innocent people if a fight breaks out
- Be charged with murder through joint enterprise if you’re at a place where someone is killed even if you weren’t carrying the weapon
Some people only carry a weapon such as knives and guns to make themselves feel big or powerful. Other do it due to peer pressure or even to protect themselves. Not all people who carry weapons plan to use them but it is still illegal to do so whether you use the weapon or not. Police officers have the power to stop and search you at any time if they feel you or friends have a weapon. It is possible for you to go to prison for carrying, buying or selling a weapon. Situation involving weapons can escalate quickly and become very dangerous. This may lead to you not having time to think about your actions, it may make you feel safe but carrying a weapon is very dangerous. Carrying a weapon is putting your own life and future as well as others at risk.
- Police recorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales, this is the largest annual rise for a decade.
- The latest crime figures show that there is an 18% rise in violent crime.
- There has been a 20% surge in gun and knife crime.
- This has led to a 26% rise in homicide which there were 723 cases alone in the UK.
- Statisticians alarmingly state crime is accelerating with a 3% increase over the last month.
- Gun crime has risen by 23% with a total of 6,376 incidents this year thus far.
- Knife crime has also jumped up 20% to 34,703 incidents – this is the highest level in 7 years.
- There has been a rise in robberies at knife point also totally nearly 13,000 incidents.
- Rape and sexual assaults at knife point have also increased in percentage but numbers remain quite low with 142 offences.
My experiences of knife & gun crime
When I was a college student back in 2009/10 I was helping my dad out at his pub helping him move barrels etc ready for his stock take the next morning. After finishing I decided to have a walk home to get some rest ready for college the next day. I was around October time as the it got dark very early. I found myself walked the way I usually do with my earphones on listening to music on my iPod which was a birthday gift. As I was approaching the alleyway I always walked through as a short cut something made me turned around to which I noticed 3 boys/men around my age at the time it seemed behind me walking at a fast pace. At that moment, I decided not to walk through the alleyway as I was cautious and carried on toward the main road. I had to pass some public gardens to get to the main road. As I was passing I saw out the corner of my eye 1 person running across the gardens toward the exit which I was also approaching. As I got there it was one the people behind me who had ran in front to stop me & ‘ask for the time.’ At this time, my personal phone was broken (luckily) so I had my granddads old phone which he obviously wasn’t interested so I tried to carry on walked & he asked me what my earphones were attached to. As I tried to carry on walking around him he shoved me & tried to force me off the main road into the public gardens where it was pitch black. I then took a punch to the face & was also being grappled from behind by his friends. I managed to shrug them off but at that point one of the thieves behind me snatched my iPod out my pocked then all 3 ran across the gardens with it. As you can probably imagine I was angry, upset but also shaken up. The more I thought about it the more relieved I was because it could have been a lot more serious as it got more heated. For all I knew they could have easily had a knife or gun to help rob me at that time luckily, they didn’t use it if they did. In the end, I went straight to the police station as it was on my route home & give the usual statement etc. Nothing ever came of this the thieves were never caught & I never got my iPod back. To this day I still think back on those events & think how much worse it could have been. A more recent event happened also. I had been out with my partner & we ended up at my dad’s pub to have a drink with him on a Saturday night. Everything was fine and going well with everyone in the pub enjoying themselves. Then the night turned on its head completely. A man who had recently been barred for ripping down decorations & causing damage to the pub came walked through with a loaded crossbow! I couldn’t believe my eyes & feared for mainly my dad’s safety along with everyone else in the pub. I firstly thought it could be anger towards my dad for barring him. He walked right through the pub looking around as if he was looking for someone in particular. He went out the back garden also then was escorted out the pub by his cousin who luckily got him out. Straight away we shut the pub doors so he could no longer access the pub. He was still outside with the loaded crossbow and was shouting abuse toward us in the pub. As we were trying to tell him to go away he punched the pub window cracking it. It was at this point the police were on route and he disappeared. Armed police surrounded the pub looking for him to which they did eventually but without the crossbow. In the end, he was found guilty and send to jail and nobody was harmed which is lucky as children as young as 5-6 were also on the premises at the time. As stated in the title, I believe nowhere is safe now. With crimes on the rise especially with guns & knives your scared to walk anywhere alone or even look at somebody in case they take it the wrong way!
Thank you for reading.