West Midlands

The reports of knife-crimes against teenagers and younger children in the West Midlands have been escalating absurdly. Last week, a “weapons surrender bin” opened in the Hockley area of Birmingham, revealed a range of blades, including kitchen knives and the Southeast Asian curved knives: Karambits.

The regional Police Federation has warned that the murder rate in the West Midlands — 46 killings so far this year — is at the same level as the epidemic of deadly violence in London.

The latest fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old — Jaydon Washington James, who was killed because of his postcode — in Coventry on Saturday extended the number of knife killings of youngsters to six this year.

According to the media reports, five out of the six killed this year were from a black and minority ethnic background. Besides, the youngest were 8 and 11 years old.

Katie Wright, an A&E consultant and co-lead of children’s emergency department at Birmingham’s Heartlands hospital, said, “We are alarmed by the sheer number and we are alarmed by the ages of those involved.”

She informed that an 11-year-old from the recent patients carried a knife, as he felt unsafe in his area.

A landmark 2017 report on gangs and violence in the West Midlands stated that it was intricate to explain the rise in both gun and knife crimes in recent years. However, it listed various reasons cited by police, community groups, former gang members and others.

According to the report, the reasons listed included– role of social media and music, mental health issues, emergence of a “new generation of gangsters” known for impulsive acts of violence, and what was referred to as the “father deficit” by some of them.

Statistics reveal that by far there have been 118 murders in London this year, which the police Federation has compared with the West Midlands as per the population sizes.

Chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, Sgt Richard Cooke gave a sheer assessment of the police’s ability to prevent the rising rate of fatalities.

According to the government figures, since 2010 the force has lost more than 21,300 officers, amounting to 24 per cent in less than a decade.

A large number of murders are reported, as hate-motivated crimes have caused a major public concern. It’s a no hidden fact that radical sentiment in the UK is augmenting at a greater pace. Although there are multiple reasons for the rising knife-crimes and other violence acts in the country, majority of them are stoked out of hate against the minority groups.