In London, youth knife crime has soared by 79% over the last four years, from 910 to 1,630. The number of young people killed by knives has more than doubled, from 19 to 40.
Experts link violent youth crime and homicide in London to drug-related gang culture, whilst social media is also cited as a driver.
Data from Hospital Accident & Emergency Units reveals a number of violent crime "hot spots" across in inner London. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these tend to correlate with areas of high poverty although the picture is slightly more complex on weekends when areas with a higher density of bars and clubs also feature.
There are a number of reasons young people end up involved in a gang:
- Respect and status
- To gain friends
- A sense of belonging
- To find a substitute family
- Peer pressure
Sport can play a valuable preventative role in crime reduction and we have taken great care to ensure the Platform Cricket Programme's "Pop Up" Clubs provide opportunities for a child to realise the same experiences in a positive sporting context, alongside equipping them with the confidence and values to reject a path into anti-social behaviour and crime.
We support a public health approach to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. Our front-line staff receive regular training that enable them to identify the Adverse Childhood Experiences that are known to leave young people vulnerable to crime and violence, and they are provided with a safeguarding support network that allows for confidential reporting of concerns.