UK: Child Stabbings Double in Five Years

London Knife Police
Getty Images
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

The number of children being treated at hospitals in the UK with stab wounds has nearly doubled in five years.

According to National Health Service (NHS) data analysed by Channel 4’s Dispatches, there has been a 93 per cent increase in hospital admittances of under-16s who had been stabbed.

Analysis of the data reported in The Telegraph on Monday revealed that there had been 347 child stabbings in 2017/18 compared to 180 in 2012/13.

Responses by the broadcaster to Freedom of Information requests made to police forces across the country revealed similar startling statistics, with the number of under-18s committing murder or manslaughter rising 77 per cent since 2016.

In that same timeframe, there has also been a 38 per cent increase in under-18s committing rape or sexual assault with a knife and youths committing robbery with a knife rising by more than 50 per cent.

The NHS data also revealed that one-third of all stabbings occurred in London, with The Telegraph report pointing to Manchester and Birmingham as two other hotspots of youth knife crime.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson declared a “national emergency” after three teenagers were stabbed to death in Birmingham last week, the UK’s ‘second city’ seeing 99 stabbings since the start of 2019.

On Saturday, 17-year-old Yousef Ghaleb Makki was stabbed to death in the affluent Greater Manchester village of Hale Barns. Makki, who was a scholarship pupil studying for his A-Levels at what The Times described as one of the top private schools in the country, had been visiting a friend when he was attacked on the street. Two other 17-year-olds were arrested.

Friday evening also saw the brutal stabbing of 17-year-old Girl Scout Jodie Chesney in Romford, east London. It is believed Jodie had been listening to music with friends when she was stabbed in the back by a suspect “described as a black male aged in his late teens”, according to London’s Metropolitan Police.

Minister for Policing Nick Hurd MP told Dispatches, in the episode set to be aired Monday night, “This is a massive challenge for our policing system and therefore a big priority for me as policing minister to make sure that our police system has the resources to invest in upgrading our technology.

“One of the big challenges underpinning is the reality that for too many young people, particularly in our big cities, carrying a knife now feels normal.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is set to chair a police constables’ round table on Wednesday in response to the rising child stabbings.

“Young people are being murdered across the country and it can’t go on,” Mr Javid said.

“We’re taking action on many fronts and I’ll be meeting police chiefs this week to hear what more can be done.

“It is vital that we unite to stop this senseless violence,” he added.

.