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UK government response knife crime wave 'completely inadequate'

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By Joao Vitor Da Silva Marques  & Vincent McAviney in London
UK government response knife crime wave 'completely inadequate'
Copyright  Reuters
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A new, highly critical report looking into knife crime in the UK has found the government's response 'completely inadequate.'

With over 44,000 knife crime offences in England and Wales last year, the figures are the highest since records began. The homicide rate in the UK has steadily increased by over a third in the past 5 years. Knife crime specifically increased by 70% - with 73 deaths last year linked to knives, making it the bloodiest year in the country in a decade.

The report by the UK's Home Affairs Committee has described the rise in serious youth violence as a "social emergency" and that young people have been failed by the state in the most devastating way, losing their lives as a result.

Austerity measures implemented by David Cameron’s Conservative government, which led to around 20,000 fewer police officers in the streets of Britain, coupled with cuts to youth services and the increasing number of school exclusions are some of the reasons believed to be behind the spike in the number of knife-related crimes in the last 10 years.

Mark Prince’s son Kiyan was fatally stabbed in London back in 2006. He told Euronews that he lost his son in 2006 and since then he has witnessed the same problems in knife-related crimes in London. He is the founder and director of The Kiyan Prince Foundation which teaches young people how to keep safe and stay away from knives and violence.

Prince also told Euronews: “The situation... is only getting worse. This is not a police enforcement issue, it is a mental health issue, we are just criminalising young people.”

Watch Euronews’s report on knife crime in the UK in the player above.

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Journalist • Joao Vitor Da Silva Marques

Video editor • Joao Vitor Da Silva Marques