Knife crime up 18 percent in London

London, Sep 21 (IANS) Knife crime is up by at least 18 percent in London with 10 youngsters stabbed to death in the British capital in the past nine months, a media report said on Monday.

Last week in London, a young person was chased and stabbed to death, and two teenagers were convicted of killing other youngsters in knife attacks earlier this year — including for the stabbing of 15-year-old Alan Cartwright to death as he rode his bicycle.

Dean Haydon, head of Scotland Yard’s homicide and Commander Duncan Ball told The Guardian that four key factors were behind the rise — the internet being used to purchase weapons, such as the zombie knife which has a foot-long blade; cultural change among young people that is encouraging them to use knives, even for trivial disputes or minor theft; reduction in the use of stop and search; and improved recording of knife crime statistics.

Police have said that officers are seizing not just kitchen knives found in homes, but hunting knives ordered from the internet where there are no checks on who is buying them, such as the zombie knife.

Police estimate there are fewer than 300 who carry a knife on a regular basis in London and Haydon said police would be helped by a new law introduced this summer which jails those caught carrying a knife twice.

Knife crime figures fell over the past few weeks following concerted police campaign that resulted in 2,700 arrests which recovered 500 knives and 63 firearms.

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