Section 1: The Problem of Knife Criminal offenses in Britain. In June 2006, 15 yrs. old Alex Mulumbu after celebrating the finish of his GCSEs exams became yet another victim of Britain's knife culture. The sufferer after he got off a bus with friends in Lambeth, southern London had an argument with a more substantial group of teenagers (Woolcock, 2006). During the dispute users of the gang vanished and returned equipped with knives, football bats and hockey sticks. Alex was stabbed in the heart and was left lying in a pool of blood vessels on the pavement (Verkaik, 2006). His dad visited the field of his son's getting rid of where he mentioned to the marketing that Alex was a good guy and had nothing to do with knives and gangs (Sturcke, 2006).
The circumstance vignette above is a clear example of how knife criminal offense is portrayed by the marketing. A teenager who will be getting off a bus and it happens to get stabbed by the perpetrator. However, the reality of knife criminal offense is not simply a black-white issue of good versus bad. The nature of such a problem is complicated and the responses towards it must therefore be multi-faceted (House of Commons). After all, if knife problem was that easy, it would have been resolved already.
One complexity is that the victims are not always good genuine citizens who have been in the incorrect place at the wrong time. The victims are often victimized before and are also those who are carrying knives to begin with (and also their own knife is utilized against them). (www. direct. gov. uk).
Furthermore, the offender's and victim's status in not always differentiated, since the victims carry knives because they are often linked to gangs or have some kind of affiliation with avenue culture. This, in turn, could imply that a significant percentage of stabbings relate with street assault (www. docstoc. com), as Professor Brohi promises "a very small percentage of knife criminal offense victims are innocent people walking down the street who are stabbed" (House of Commons).
The press make knife offense even more complex as they often cloud people's belief by producing moral anxiety and by giving the impression that blade crime has gone out of control (Albertazzi, 2010:473). This moral anxiety, in turn, triggers fear of crime and cultural disorganization.
Knife criminal offense is also complicated alone as it is a symbolic of insufficient public control within societies. Blade crime appears unsolvable and since there is absolutely no connection between adults-teenagers (Hume, 2008), though it involves young people and shatters lives. Specifically, knife crime alone provides impression that somehow it is a subject of young people's world since teenagers are independently, surviving on the roads (Asthana, 2008). Thus, those who do not live in that kind of environments (outsiders) can't ever understand.
Finally, knife criminal offense is complex since there is no response to the question why teenagers carry kitchen knives. We have no idea whether teenagers carry knives for self protection and due to growing lack of trust in the ability of adults to safeguard them (Kelbie, 2003), or whether take knives for things such as admiration "knife carrying is thought to be largely motivated by a problem for self protection or to enhance position" (Muncie, 2009:36).
Continuing the study I will produce a survey divided into three key areas. The first will be the extent of blade criminal offenses in Britain. The next will look at the sources of knife crime and lastly the third will produce some initiatives working with knife crime.
Section 2: The Extent of Knife Criminal offense in Britain
Furthermore, knife crime is very complicated in terms of defining whether it's a predominantly dark problem. The advertising often supply the impression that all crimes are dedicated by black people and therefore, make people adopt misconceptions (Wright, 2008).
Hence, it is important to notice that even although issue appears like it is black in London and the South-East (www. london. gov. uk), at the same time there are facts that suggesting that in the North-East (i. e. Glasgow, Scotland, Manchester) the condition is white (House of Commons). Because of this, it might be predominantly a dark concern in London but certainly not in other places. Given that, I have concluded that the problem of carrying cutlery has little to do with being black or white, but on the contrary, it is due to being young and male (Muncie, 2009).
Also, knife offense is complicated in conditions of explanation, since there is no clear Home Office clear description of 'knife crime'. According to that, the term 'knife criminal offenses' was followed by the multimedia and is currently popularly used to send primarily to stabbings but also to the illegitimate carrying of kitchen knives by teenagers (House of Commons). Hence, since there is absolutely no clear description, then, it is likely for the numerous to make use of different definitions to be able to create statistics and therefore make more complexity.
Furthermore, knife criminal offenses is also complicated because there are way too many different types of information (too much statistical data). Specifically, there are information for knife criminal offenses from the hospital, the authorities, the British Offense Survey and finally the MORI (House of Commons, 2009). Each of these sources, measure different samples and various places (regions) in the country and for that reason, it is too complicated to understand what is going on (Summers, 2008). For instance, hospitals define blade crime when a person has severe inner injuries as a result of blade penetration, whereas police force define it when someone is carrying a blade (House of Commons)
Furthermore, aiming to measure knife criminal offense is, again, difficult since there is also the dark figure of criminal offenses. Therefore, this hidden crime makes statistics themselves problematic (Messerschmidt, 1993).
However, above all else, the complexity of blade crime is related to the mass media. The media manipulate the figures and distort people's perceptions about blade crime, being that they are powerful therefore pervasive in terms of their ability to create views (Jewkes, 2004).
One distortion is that knife criminal offense is predominantly a black concern. Considering that, even though evidence suggest that knife criminal offense is also a white problem (in other areas), yet, the advertising continue the misrepresentation constantly accusing blacks (scapegoats). Relating to that, I assume that this misrepresentation contributes to moral worry which, subsequently, somehow makes the reports go up.
In other words, since teens hinder the mass media (moral anxiety), then, they may feel concern with the streets and for that reason through self satisfying prophecy, start having knives for self applied coverage. Hence, there can be an interaction-interrelationship between your statistics and blade offense (Newburn, 2007).
Regarding to the problems associated with blade crime measurement, I assume that data should be gathered through a local setting which is for just two reasons. Firstly, because as suggested, knife offense is not a specific cultural issue of Blacks, and subsequently, because the way of measuring of such a complicated issue through countrywide settings, inevitable will generate too many complicated statistical data.
Furthermore, so that as Young (1988) argues, national settings have a tendency to miss some important elements in the distribution of victimization (Newburn, 2007). Hence, I would recommend a regional setting both in areas with the highest knife-crime rates, but also to areas where crime rate is low. This, subsequently, we will help us understand why it is black issue occasionally whereas white in other.
Equally important is to accumulate data using qualitative approaches, since it might be more good for understand the lived experiences of these who carry kitchen knives (rationale behind blade crime) rather than how many bring a knife (What would be the idea of realizing that 4000 are transporting knives in the end?). For instance, it would be very interesting to understand how knife crime is recognized and interpreted by the juvenile delinquents (ethnography research) and therefore, find out why they bring knives. This way, more evidence will come up such as whether blade crime pertains to London's (for example) rates of poverty, disregard, unemployment and deprivation (House of Commons).
Section 3: The Causes of Knife Criminal offenses in Britain.
The social learning theory is one of the most enduring approaches among the criminological ideas that underscore the type of people's engagement in social human relationships. Sutherland, considered prior criminological theories and argued that anyone in modern culture can learn to adopt and follow habits of crime and deviation (Colombo, 2009).
In accordance to Sutherland's 'differential relationship' conception, the prestige of crooks, the length of contact between offenders-potential offenders and the occurrence of interactions with legal offenders, are all contributing factors in an individual's likeliness to take up criminal activities. Sutherland also suggested that attendance with the introduction of unlawful behaviours in social groups, for case 'tough and challenging' behaviour, 'enhances' the individual's propensity to interiorize legal attitudes.
Social learning therefore, links to the sources of knife offense as well as links to masculinity and logical choice perspectives. Corresponding to differential connection concept, young boys are growing up to be men. This technique of affirming masculinity promotes males to develop a general public persona (an external surfaces) of being tough, macho and fearless.
In the framework of knife criminal offense which means that men need to be risk takers, intense and support their competitive characteristics (i. e. territoriality). Children, if lose their reputation before peers and someone undermines their masculinity, in turn, have to regain this reputation by taking knives and using them before their mates.
Thus, since they learn masculinity (via cultural learning), they figure out how to behave accordingly to the communal role (masculinity) and therefore, take action out like men (troublesome, aggressive). Finally, in conditions of applying that to a knife criminal offenses, they make the best decision (logical choice) on whether to carry knives by weighing the benefits (status, respect) resistant to the dangers (get stabbed, get trapped). To summarize, I believe that there's a website link between masculinities and social learning as what seems to be happening today, is the fact that neighborhood culture (knife crime) is becoming masculine culture (i. e. through rap music) (Newburn, 2007).
However, even though differential connection theory is one of the very most enduring theories about criminal offense, yet, there are a few difficulties in describing knife criminal offense.
First of all, in line with the first basic principle of differential relationship theory, criminal behavior is learnt (Colombo, 2009). If that is the case, I think that we must critically question, how have the first "teacher" learned the blade techniques (i. e. cover a knife, disposal once used), so that to cross this 'knowledge' to others? Hence, differential relationship theory fails to explain the origins of knife offense, since there are no origins.
Furthermore, there are no real empirical evidence of links between learning and knife crime. For example, differential relationship theory will not clarify why in similar circumstances, (balance of favorable-unfavourable meanings) a lot of people choose to carry a blade whereas others do not.
Moreover, social learning theory does not explain why teens develop to affiliate with those who carry knives. Instead, it concentrates more on the peer effect and not on peer selection.
Additionally, differential relationship, supports that criminal functions are logical (maximase profit-minimise damage) and systematic. However, it does not make clear the spontaneous, wanton works of violence, that have little purpose or tool (Siegel, 2004).
Finally, it is very difficult for communal scientists to assess such vague parameters like "excess of explanations favourable to legislations violation" (Colombo, 2009).
Section 4: Towards Reduction of Knife Criminal offense in Britain.
The Tackling Kitchen knives Action Programme (TKAP) is a multi-million-pound project, against knife criminal offenses. Its main purpose is to limit the carrying of kitchen knives and serious stabbings among teenagers aged between13-19. It involves five administration departments and 16 police force forces (www. homeoffice. gov. uk).
However, Tackling Knives Action Program (TKAP) has some important limitations in relation to the data, because the recorded offense, especially the less violent, can be influenced by changes in police force activity and open public reporting to the data. Furthermore, there's a lack of assessment reports in many areas. Finally, TKAP experienced the heterogeneity of the causes (www. homeoffice. gov. uk).
Another anti-knife insurance plan that is launched is via legislation to forbid the sale of kitchen knives to anyone under the age of 18. Additionally, Authorities Businesses like Blunt and Shield require the immediate and arbitrary deployment of steel detectors in public places such as stations, schools etc. The purpose of the insurance plan is to recognize and arrest anyone carrying a knife (www. insight-security. com).
However, both restriction of knives sales under- 18s, as well as the deployment of metal detectors does not tackle the situation, since kitchen kitchen knives for instance, would be accessible. Hence, it is more a problem of education, somewhat than usage of knives. Furthermore, metal detectors may be not detecting all knives, as cutlery can be easily covered and disposed once used.
My view about tackling of knife crime is the fact that one organization together cannot end this problem. Given that, It is suggested that the primary goal of all anti-knife criminal offense initiatives ought to be to increase the explanations against knife-crime (logical choice theory) so that teenagers understand that having cutlery is immoral but almost all of all, it is dangerous (take full advantage of cost, minimize profit).
Furthermore, I support that the best anti knife-crime plan would be to educate the teens relating to this problem (interpersonal learning theory). Hence, teenagers could find out about the results of carrying cutlery young through a obligatory component (i. e. weapon awareness) at schools. Furthermore, I believe that the best effort to stop knife culture would be if parents (especially the fathers) could show their children that carrying kitchen knives has nothing in connection with being truly a man (masculinity theory).
As a finish, I argue that Alex's case highlights the need for the government bodies to identify that educating both teenagers and people from an early age is crucial in order to tackle blade crime. Concisely, I've concluded that blade crime is highly complex issue because of many reasons. The main one surely is because there are several statistical data. On top of that knife criminal offenses is complex because the advertising create moral worry and thus will not help. Moreover I've concluded that knife crime is not a black issue but a knife issue and therefore, anti knife policies should redirect their focus on the explanation behind knife offense.
Ultimately, I would like to attempt to give a conclusion of what could have might happen in the case vignette. Alex might have been probably to the enemy's territory and exhibited disrespect on the other boys. He threatened the teens with his blade and made them try to escape. Then, the other young boys went to another estate, needed knives and went back back in order to regain their reputation and status. They may have learnt (communal learning) that men never back again out (masculinity) and lastly, they have made the best decision for taking the risk and stab Alex (rational choice).