Weâ€™ve seen high-profile cases in recent months, including that of 20-year-old Lewis Elwin, who was stabbed to death not far from his home in Tooting, south London. To date, nobody has been convicted for his murder.
With knife crime still an issue in many parts of the UK, during June 2016 we teamed up with the Sunday Mirror to run a series of engaging events across the country as we appeal for people to â€˜Drop the Knife.â€™Â The aim of the appeal is to raise awareness of the issue of knife crime and to discourage more people from carrying knives, while also making more people aware of our unique anonymous service.
The three events, held in London, Birmingham and Liverpool, saw a panel made up of representatives from Crimestoppers, government, law enforcement and campaigners, with an invited audience gathered to voice their views on knife crime and how to tackle it.
Labour MP Chuka Umunna was amongst the panellists for our event in London, having been vocal about youth violence and disposing of the word â€˜gang.â€™
He spoke passionately about the work going on, in particular that being carried out in his constituency, and was keen to encourage a more collaborative approach, with over 800 community groups working in the borough alone.
But it wasnâ€™t only about politicians at the event. Reformed offender Junior Smart, now working with the St Giles Trust, spokeÂ about his work with other people with convictionsÂ and disadvantaged people.
Sheldon Thomas, a former gang leader in the 1970s, is the Chief Executive of Gangsline, an organisation that engages with gang leaders and members. He spoke about the role fathers can play in helping to keep their children on the straight and narrow.
Crimestoppers had representation at the event and discussed the work they are doing to tackle knife crime, as did the Metropolitan Police. Our panel member Adrian Tudway reinforced the importance of passing on information about knife crime to the charity, with the confidence of being anonymous.
But it was when Dr Emer Sutherland, Clinical Lead for Emergency Medicine at Kings College Hospital, took to the stand, that the real impact of knife crime really hit home.
Once the panellists had had their say, there was an opportunity for the invited audience to speakÂ and, for over an hour, they did.
Not everyone agreed with the points made, but what everyone did agree on was that the issue of knife crime is one that needs addressing without criminalising all young people.
Crimestoppers is committed to supporting this effort and through our anonymous 0800 555 111 service and anonymous online form, we hope we can cut down the number of offences being committed.
London Drop the Knife Panelists (left to right: Junior Smart, Sheldon Thomas, Ria Chatterjee, Chuka Umunna, Adrian Tudway, Kevin Southworth, Dr Emer Sutherland
Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham, talking about knife and gang crime in the community
Attendees express their views to the panel
The London Panel listens to voices from the community
Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham, talking to attendees
Junior Smart, St Giles Trust, speaking to the audience