Tackling ‘The Violence Virus’ – What Can Be Done?

by Streetspace Group in Education, Sports Clubs | 0 comments

Murder rates in London are escalating, according to the Home Office. On November 13th, it was reported that the number of crimes committed in the capital so far this year matches the total from the whole of 2017. The figures exclude the 13 victims from last year’s terrorist attacks at Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park.

According to BBC reports, there have been 118 murders in London so far this year, including 73 stabbings and 12 shootings, compared to 116 at the end of last year. These figures present a grim reality for residents of London, drawing attention to a “violence virus” that needs addressing. So how can we tackle the climbing murder rates in our capital city?

Escalating murder rates: what’s the solution?

It is clear that we need a solution to this rise in crime, but is there a quick fix? Not according to Mayor Sadiq Khan, who told BBC’s Today programme that to “really make significant progress can take up to 10 years”. Mr Khan added that the problem of crime in London could take a generation to fix, but that it is necessary to make a start now before the problem gets worse. He also argued that local leaders need to lobby the government for extra money for policy to make any real difference.

How did we get here?

According to these new figures, London police coverage is at its lowest rate in 20 years. There are now just 3.3 police officers for every thousand Londoners, falling 19% below 2010.

The rise in crime has been attributed in part to the limiting of stop-and-search powers granted to police officers, and this is expected to change by the end of this year. Drugs, organised crime, county lines and inadequate parenting could also play a part, officials say.

However, the rising levels of crime on the streets could also be down to the declining quality of youth centre provisions, said London resident Jessica Morgan for The Independent earlier this year:

“If you speak to these kids… it becomes obvious that most of them have nowhere to go other than their homes or the streets. Hundreds of youth clubs have been shut since the beginning of this decade thanks to government cost-cutting, which has left many young people twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do.”

How Streetspace can help

It is heartening to see initiatives such as the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund emerging, providing funding for local community groups with a mission to help young people engage in creative, life-skill activities whilst keeping them off the streets and away from crime.

While an enhanced enforcement approach is required at policy level, we thoroughly support the view that government needs to balance this with adequate welfare and social support – particularly in areas of social deprivation.

In particular, at Streetspace we believe it is critical that everyone should have access to quality recreation facilities, and the provision of all-weather sports canopies in local schools will help create hubs for community support organisations to operate from, both in and out of school hours.

For more information, contact us today on 08450 750 760.

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