29 Nov Knife Crime and Personal Safety
With knife crime in the UK on the rise, we revisit the 5 principles of personal security.
Whilst the recent increase in instances of urban knife crime in the UK, and particularly London, may no longer be a surprise, it remains a major concern to personal safety. This crime indicates a dangerous social degradation that has gently but firmly reached an unparalleled height.
To know how to stay safe in certain situations, please read on for more information and the 5 principles to personal security.
So what is knife crime?
This is simply a crime that involves the possession or use of a knife to intimidate someone with a knife or have a knife as a weapon.
It seems we all live in a society where people care less for one another than they used to, and one can recognize a lack of compassion in the part of today’s world.
Every time someone stabs another person, the experience is extremely graphic. It always speaks of a level of anger and sometimes even a personal connection to the victim, but most certainly, it also reflects an implausible lack of compassion.
It tells a story of rage or hate and possibly an increased frustration for life in general.
Knife Crime Statistics in England
Knife attacks can be brutally quick with a traumatic effect that can be critically detrimental.
So here are some knife crime statistics in England:
- According to Stephen Hammond, the MP of Wimbledon in London, he reported a 22% increase in knife crime across England and Wales.
- Between 2016 and 2018, a 77% increase in homicides was reported to have been performed with knives by people under 18.
- From 2012 up until 2018, a 93% increase in the number of patients under 16 has been admitted to hospitals due to knife attacks. The Ministry of Justice also reported that in 2018, about 21,484 knife and other offensive weapon offenses were formally handled by the criminal justice system (CJS), being the highest number since 2009.
- Furthermore, the Office for National Statistics revealed in October 2019, that knife crime in the UK has risen to a new record high with over 15,000 offences in a year, making the highest annual tally ever registered in London.
- Overall, London is the most unsafe part of England and Wales.
Furthermore, the Office for National Statistics revealed in October 2019, that knife crime in the UK has risen to a new record high with over 15,000 offences in a year, making the highest annual tally ever registered in London. Overall, London is the most unsafe part of England and Wales.
However, data obtained from the police forces reveals a sharp increase in the rate of fatal knife crime offenses in some areas outside London, including places like the city of Blackpool, Slough, Manchester, and Liverpool.
Some Factors Contributing To Increasing Knife Crime in London
1. Social Exclusion, Deprivation, and Poverty
Knife crimes are, without any doubt, symptoms of a huge social problem. It is mostly present in the most underprivileged and most deprived areas where violence is a clear sign of more profound challenges such as social exclusion and poverty.
Consequently, this missing sense of belonging usually results in a desire to want to become a gangster, which eventually leads to the need to use a knife.
While the influence of an individual’s social background is evident, it is essential to admit the role of individual risk factors. The high level of anti-social behavior before joining a gang is connected with the length of time someone remains in a gang.
Young people in particular, who were not anti-social before joining a gang are likely to remain a member for a limited time.
Other individual risk factors include drug abuse and alcohol and an individual who consumes alcohol for at least once a month is liable for a sizeable amount of crime.
An individual facing marginalization and deprivation often have complicated family relations.
Low-income family support and guidance, consequently, may influence people’s decision to get involved in gang violence.
Furthermore, limited parental influence has been recognized to place people at a higher risk of being involved with gangsters.
Some other factors that can contribute to the increasing knife crime rate in Europe are School, peer, and Neighborhood risk factors.
The 5 Principles of Personal Security (S.A.F.E.R)
and How To Defend Yourself Against Knife Crime Attack
When it comes to your personal safety and most certainly the safety of the ones you care about, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.
With the increasing rate of knife crime, here are the 5 Principles of Personal Security (S.A.F.E.R) and a few things you can do to protect yourself and be relatively unscathed.
S is for ‘SITUATION AWARENESS’
- Accept knife crime threat exists
- Be vigilant of your surroundings
- Know your safe areas
- Be suspicious and approach things cautiously
A is for ‘AVOID A ROUTINE’
- Take different routes
- Train – Change times frequently
- Bike – Vulnerable to RTA (Real Time Attack)
- Walk – avoid the same paths and predictable routes where trouble might take place
- Alternate timings
- Avoid Patterns:
- Frequenting the same neighbourhood and parks
- Running & Cycling
- Choose different means of how you go
- Informing people on Social Media of future events/activity
F is for ‘FOLLOW SECURITY PROCEDURES’
- Learn the city geography and be aware of high-risk areas
- Establish procedures for how you go about your daily life:
- Follow the procedures
- Make them workable
- Practice what you preach
E is for ‘EXERCISE COMMON SENSE INITIATIVE’
When you compare knife attacks to gun shots, you cannot be killed from a certain distance.
Think, therefore, of anything you can do to create a distance and prevent the attacker from closing the gap.
- Be spatially aware if confronted and create a distance from you and the attacker – doing this will give you enough time allowing others to assist you. Your ability to secure this gap will probably increase your chance of survival.
- Do what you can to create a distance and prevent the attacker from closing the gap
- Do not panic
- Understand the threat
- Don’t back yourself into a corner
- Remain non-threatening
- Look for escape points and safe areas
- Move quickly away when possible
- Run away
- Ignore verbal remarks from passers-by
- Know how to contact the police and other emergency services
- Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers in your wallet
- Carry a mobile programmed with emergency telephone numbers
- Communicate your every whereabouts with family and friends
- Try to avoid walking, especially at night
R is for ‘REMAIN ANONYMOUS OR SHOW STRENGTH’
- Keep a low profile
- Be aware of what is happening around you but do not get involved in other people’s business
- Identify if you recognize people and why?
- Know where your escape routes/safe havens are
- Have an ex-directory phone number
- Dress conservatively
- Do not display jewellery/wealth.
- Do not display cash
- Nothing to allow people to believe you are a person of status
- Know your contingency plan
When anonymity is impossible:
- Make the attacker believe an attack would not succeed
- Be confident (but not aggressive)
- You belong there and you have a right to be there
- Preparation of impending possible situations
- Alertness of environment
- Know where you are
- Attacker must believe in your ability
- Know your contingency plan
CONSIDER USING ‘SAFE’; THE ULTIMATE SAFETY APP
To combat knife crime, SAFE is a fantastic security app that alerts both your contacts and the 24 hour UK based security ‘Alarm Receiving Centre’ (ARC) – when users of the app notice that trouble is coming their way.
- SOS facility: With a touch of a button, the APP can send out an SOS whereby opening a two way audio with the Alarm Receiving Centre, as well as track your every whereabouts and escalate to relevant emergency departments if need be. Ensuring your safety always.
- The SAFE TIMER can also be used if you find yourself in a vulnerable situation. Simply activate your SAFE timer and if the time elapses without ending its duration, the Alarm Receiving Centre and selected contacts will be alerted to verify your welfare.
The SAFE app empowers you to take control of your safety and provides the authorities with extra security ears and eyes. You don’t even need any proof to mark an area as suspicious.
Many young individuals are severely suffering and facing a future with no role models, no job prospects, and no qualifications, making them susceptible to criminal gangs who compel them to carry knives.
To counteract the negative influences of the risks mentioned above, any intervention strategy must target both knife crime and gangsters. It is because any attempt to combat knife crime is interconnected with a reduction in gang activity, which may, consequently, alleviate the fear of being victimised.
With SAFE, security against knife crime in London can be achieved to a maximum extent possible.
About SAFE Global
SAFE Global is a next generation App dedicated to protecting the safety and security of individuals all over the globe. With contact tracking, geo-fencing, location check ins, guardian timer, intelligence reports, and one-touch alerting – the SAFE App transforms your phone into a BS8484 accredited personal safety device.