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London’s Metropolitan Police end “week of action” to combat knife crime


London’s Metropolitan Police end “week of action” to combat knife crime

Knife crime: Operation Sceptre begins amid surge in violence | UK ...

Photo: Sky News

The Metropolitan Police of London today ends a week-long push to stem the tide of knife crime in the city. Police have expanded street patrols and ramped up arrests and searches of suspected knife-carriers in the effort.

Between June 2018 and June 2019, the number of knife crimes rose to a height of 44,000 in a spike that is a subject of much dispute in the UK. Notably, incidents are rarely premeditated and often involve drug and alcohol use among youths (the average age of assailants is between 13 and 17). However, broader explanations fall under politicised lines. The left has blamed Tory austerity policies while the right has pointed to the dissolution of social capital and authority in poor communities.

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This week’s operation is unlikely to have a serious effect on knife crime in London, much less Britain. Police across England and Wales have carried out similar operations in the past, including a nation-wide effort to take the weapons off the streets earlier in March, but the rate of stabbings rose by 7% in 2019. A combination of tougher sentencing laws and re-investment in youth centers and resources is more likely to reduce crime than more assertive policing.

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