According to figures released last year, knife crime in London has risen to its highest ever level with nearly 15,000 offences committed during 2018. The Office for National Statistics revealed that the total of 14,987 knife crimes in the year to the end of June was a 15 per cent rise on the comparable figure 12 months earlier.
This included 91 knife killings, 170 rapes or sexual assaults carried out with a blade, and 8,363 knife-point robberies. There were also 5,570 knife crimes which either resulted in injury or involved an attempt to inflict serious harm on the victim.
But what factors have influenced the rise of knife crime in London? And how are security companies attempting to increase the safety of the public?
Reasons for rising knife crime
One of the biggest reasons behind rising knife crime in London is the government’s funding policy for the security and social sectors. As resources for police and opportunities for young people continue to decrease, criminal activity grows increasingly prevalent.
Not only does a lack of policing give criminals more confidence to carry on regardless, it also makes the general public more scared when going about their daily lives. When coupled with a lack of social support for young people to keep them out of trouble, it is little wonder that knife crime figures keep going up.
A good example of how diminishing resources and fewer opportunities have given rise to knife crime is postcode wars. Outside of the education system, young people have nowhere to go and little to do apart from congregate in parks or other local places, much like their peers in neighbouring boroughs.
Before long, gangs are formed based on the locality of members, and when fights break out between rival groups they can turn very violent, very quickly.
Much of the culture that surrounds these gangs, which is evident on social media, only adds to the issues. For instance, social media allows gangs to access information about where their rivals are located, making it easier to target specific people with little to no warning.
The role of private security firms
Despite working in the private sector, security firms have not been immune to rising knife crime in London. In fact, one incident has made security companies realise that a lack of public funding and opportunities for young people can have a direct knock-on effect for other industries.
On New Year’s Day, a security guard was stabbed to death a private party in London’s West End. Tudor Simionov, who had relocated from Romania to London to build a better life for him and his fiancé, was attacked by a group of men who tried to enter the party. Two of his colleagues were also stabbed during the incident, but Simionov died of his injuries at the scene.
In accordance with the SIA, we continue to tell our door supervisions that physical intervention should be used as a last resort. We also advise the use of the ‘RUN, HIDE, TELL’ method to those acting in a threatening manner.