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

This is not a well researched post into the reasons for the recent rise in knife crime. It’s just a quick observation to this article from The Guardian asserting that “Knife and gun crime has surged in England and Wales, but the causes and solutions are unclear”.

I don’t think the causes are unclear. I am going to put blame firmly at the feet of the Conservative Government and their policy of austerity. Local authority budgets have been slashed. Austerity has meant a cut in support for all kinds of social programs. Even something as simple as a youth club offers support to young people, ultimately stopping them becoming involved in crime. The links between social engagement of young people and crime are not always obvious but The Guardian report makes me think of an argument made in the book Freakonomics. The following video explains one of the observation made by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner in their 2005 book. Specifically that access to abortions in the USA in the 1970’s reduced the crime rates in the 1990’s.

Crime rates in the 1990’s came down because there were fewer unwanted pregnancies in the 1970’s. Women who, for whatever reason, felt they were not ready to care for a child, were able to terminate. Apply that same logic to the rise in instances of gun and knife crime in the UK. The Home Office “points to 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 am 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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