Truth about knife crime
Jul 18 2008 by Andrew Baldwin, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
TODAY the true shocking picture of knife crime on the streets of West Yorkshire is revealed for the first time.
There are more than two serious blade attacks everyday, according to figures released by the Home Office.
West Yorkshire police argue that knife crime is in fact falling on our streets and that the problem is nowhere as bad as it is in other parts of the country.
But try telling that to those who have suffered at the hands of the thugs who think it is OK to carry these weapons.
Like the young man who was robbed at knifepoint in Manchester Road, Cowlersley, on his way home after a night out on June 8.
Or the 35-year-old woman working behind the counter of a Deighton fish-and-chip shop who was pushed to the floor in a robbery on June 3.
It must have been a terrifying experience to be threatened by a yob wielding a serrated steak knife.
The reality is that there is no difference between one victim and 101 victims, whatever the actual statistics. Public concern is there no matter what the figures.
Those who have suffered seem to be united in the message that is time the Government got tough on knife carriers.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has repeated a warning that young people carrying knives will be prosecuted. One should hope so too.
It’s not only victims but also all right-minded people who want to get knives and those who carry them off the streets.
There should be a ban on all pointed weapons, including knives, in public places and the strongest possible measures must be taken against offenders.
But the police cannot act alone. They must have the support of others who have their part to play in keeping lethal weapons at bay.
Retailers need to think about who is buying knives and for what reason, and parents must take a more active role in governing how their children behave.
Above all, there needs to be a clear message that knife crime will be punished effectively.
And the best way to do that is to make the punishment fit the crime.