|London Metropolitan Police 2018|
If you have been reading and listening to my blog posts, you know that my work is about solutions.
As I am sure you know, there has been an increase in violent crime, including knife crime and gun crime, in London. Black communities have been dealing with this crisis for many years.
What is the response to this from the police?
Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, has said that there needs to be an increase in stop-and-search, and The Metropolitan Police are planning to do just that.
Given that British prisons are already disproportionately incarcerating Black people, something is definitely wrong here. Several things, actually.
The police conducting their stop-and-search incidents are finding larger numbers of weapons.
This would suggest that stop-and-search is not working. Stop-and-search is not preventing young people from carrying knives. The ethos has been described as making young people more afraid of being arrested than they are of carrying knives. Given most young Black men are aware that the police may kill them with impunity, and this has happened numerous times, making them more afraid of police is a tall order.
What needs to happen is for young people become confident in their ability to reduce or prevent violet crime without needing to carry weapons. Our young people need to become skilled in methods such as NVC (Nonviolent Communication) that can PREVENT violent incidents and PREVENT situations escalating into violence.
By the time a young person starts carrying a knife, ostensibly for protection, the situation is out of control. We need to PREVENT young peoplle believing they need to carry guns in order to protect themselves,as they know other people who are carrying weapons.
For more about this, see Children and Knife Crime.
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