Knife crime is a problem but it’s not a black boy problem despite what the mainstream media would have you believe.
It’s also laughable that the mainstream media focuses on grime music as being a catalyst for youth violence when violent music is a result of the social enviornment that these kids are living in.
Youths were stabbing each other in the 19th century and I’m quite sure grime music didn’t exist back then.
So, let us take a quick look into the past so we may understand the present.
White gangs that emerged from the 1890s such as the Peaky Blinders or the Scuttlers often fought with knives. They were also fiercely territorial and many of them also initially fought for status rather than profit.
Many of them were also from working-class neighborhoods and experienced some form of poverty.
Today, youth gangs are also protective of their postcodes. They are more concerned with street cred rather than making a profit and they come from families situated in and around working-class neighborhoods.
But what feeds gang culture and how can we fix it?
In the 1880s, offenders were jailed in the hundreds but this still didn’t solve the issue which is why Boris Johnson’s plan to come down hard on offenders with tougher sentences and chicken boxes is unlikely to deter someone who is already willing to stab someone to upgrade their street cred.
It seems that the best interventions, back in the 19th century, were local lads who formed clubs equivalent to today’s youth centers and by getting kids into activities such as boxing, football or plain honest work they were able to cut off the recruit supply chain to local gangs.
The truth is that while we can try to save those who have lost their way we may be more productive by focusing on the kids who have yet to be sucked into gang culture.