Education key to reducing violent knife crime

February 3, 2014 by Cara Macdowall

Education based interventions are more effective than any other initiative in tackling the scourge of knife crime. That's the key finding of a new Scottish Government commissioned report from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research.

The , which involved an extensive review of approaches and interventions that are used to prevent and reduce knife crime throughout the world, found that the most effective way of tackling the problem was by educating those who are at risk of carrying a knife at an early age.

Author of the report, Rebecca Gillian Foster, who was based at the University of Edinburgh at the time of the research, and is now based at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) at the University of Glasgow said "This report reviews the current literature available and suggests that education based interventions hold the most promise for effectively tackling knife crime. These interventions should be delivered both at school and within communities, in order to reach all young people.

"While custodial sentences are useful in sending out a message to young people who carry knives to acquire status, their function should not be overstated since they may not have a meaningful deterrent effect on those who carry a knife out of fear."

The report concludes that fear could be addressed by reassuring young people that the police and other services are working to protect them, and that trust in these agencies is essential.

According to Rebecca Gillian Foster,criminal justice measures such as stop and searches, knife amnesties and tougher custodial sentences have an important place in any anti-blade initiative, for their deterrent effect. However, these should be properly measured and evaluated. "In a multi -agency approach to address knife crime, as is the case in Scotland, it is important that the strengths of criminal justice measures, as well as the strengths of educational and voluntary sector interventions, complement, rather than conflict with, one another. By carefully balancing each, it is hoped that knife crime can be tackled effectively."

No Knives Better Lives (NKBL) is a Government funded initiative which aims to raise awareness amongst young people of the dangers of carrying a knife. Jane Dailly, National Co-ordinator at the NKBL National Delivery Team at Youthlink Scotland, said:

"The findings of the report support the key principles of No knives, better lives - that education and prevention is key to reducing knife crime. No knives aims to reduce the incidence of knife carrying amongst young people in Scotland by raising awareness of the related risks and consequences, changing attitudes and perceptions, and promoting positive life choices. The report also highlights the fact that many carry a knife out of fear, this is something that increasingly informs the content of our educational resources."

Explore further: Young British men view knife carrying as a 'legitimate response' to potential threats

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5 / 5 (2) Feb 03, 2014
the study found that imprinting and reinforcement of children with a belief in government paternalism is the most effective in inhibiting in developemnt of self-reliance
not rated yet Feb 03, 2014
Can't ban knives?
5 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2014
Nanny state bullshiyte. Thugs need to feel the weight of the community pressing upon them. No knife class can do that
not rated yet Feb 04, 2014
Can't ban knives?

Switchblade Knife Act of 1958.
5 / 5 (2) Feb 04, 2014
It is all well and nice to 'say' that the police will protect the average 'would be victim'; but most in the real world who would be victims are of the lower socio-economic classes who are generally not protected in any practical sense by law enforcement. In most nations, including the United States, law enforcement is seen as only securing the interests of the wealthy. Banks and insurance companies receive disproportionate protection above and beyond even this. As long as this is so, there will be large segments of the population that clearly know the authorities will not only not protect them, but will purposely ignore them. Case in point was the treatment of poor victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. There the poor were kept isolated and unprotected while the rich received troop escorts and preferred evacuation, feeding, medical care, and housing. In short, there is not solution to 'knife crime' beyond superficial and unjust punishments of rational people.
5 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2014
I thought this was a joke...... btw, if you expect the police to protect you.... they'll be at your side anywhere from 5 minutes (if you live in a well policed area in the USA) to a day later, after you call them.

Take guns away from the law abiding community and only criminals will have guns.
Take knives away from the law abiding community and only criminals will have guns and knives.
Take clubs away from the law abiding community and only criminals will have guns, knives, and clubs.
Make it against the law to allow a law abiding person to defend themselves, then the law abiding person is nothing more than a target for those with guns, knives and clubs.

Meanwhile rich, connected and the elite of society will be protected by bodyguards.
not rated yet Feb 09, 2014
, if you expect the police to protect you.

US police have NO obligation to protect anyone, so states the US Supreme Court.

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