Six word stories #16

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A quick observation on the reasons for the recent rise in knife and gun crime.

This article in The Guardian asserts that “Knife and gun crime has surged in England and Wales, but the causes and solutions are unclear”.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/27/why-are-knife-and-gun-offences-on-the-rise-and-who-is-most-at-risk

I don’t think the causes are unclear. The blame rests firmly at the feet of the Conservative Party and their policy of austerity.

Austerity has meant local authority budgets have been slashed, cutting support for all kinds of social programmes, there to help “at risk” kids stay out of trouble. Even something as simple as a youth club can provide early interventions, offering support to young people, and stop them getting involved in crime.

Those who think the causes are unclear should look at the work of Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner in their 2005 book Freakonomics. They argue access to abortions in the USA in the 1970’s reduced the crime rates in the 1990’s.

Crime rates in the 1990s came down because there were fewer unwanted pregnancies in the 1970s. Women who felt they were not ready to care for a child, were able to terminate the pregnancy.

Apply that same logic to the rise in instances of gun and knife crime in the UK. The Home Office blames “changes in the nature of drug sales and use, highlighting crack cocaine, social media and music glamorising violence as among the issues fuelling the problem”.

I’m going to say that drug sales, social media, and music, are not the cause of the problem but a consequence. Austerity is the cause.

Ten years ago austerity started to remove support for youth programmes.

We now have a rise in gun and knife crime.

Is it really that hard to see the link?

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