The parents of a British apprentice carpenter who was fatally stabbed in London earlier this month have issued a police appeal describing the city’s knife crime as “out of control”.
Jason Isaacs, 18, was attacked — unprovoked — by a gang of teenagers on mopeds with their faces hidden under balaclavas, in what has become a common occurrence in the U.K. capital.
His family released a statement this week saying:
“We feel that knife crime in this area, and in London, is out of control and it must be stopped before another young life is taken, and another family has to suffer what we are suffering now. We need to educate young people early on around the dangers of carrying knives in public places.”
Crimes involving a bladed weapon are currently taking place every 14 minutes on average in England and Wales. A third of such stabbings occur in London and from June 2016 to June 2017 the city’s knife crime level rose by 34 percent.
The Metropolitan Police Service reports that the average age of so-called “moped criminals” is just 15. It also claims that many more young people are now carrying knives for self defense — thousands of knife crime victims are below the age of 18. There has also been a rise in acid attacks in the capital, with many of those being carried out by teenagers on mopeds.
Equally concerning, new government statistics reveal that police forces in England and Wales are actually charging fewer people for knife crimes, even though the number of incidents has risen dramatically in recent years. The BBC found that for 30 out of the 43 U.K. police forces, the number of criminals prosecuted fell by 8 percent from 2015 to 2016.
In spite of the astonishing rise in violent crime, the U.K. government has continued to make major reductions to police funding. As a response to the cuts, the Metropolitan Police last month issued new guidelines indicating that some “lower-level” offenses — such as shoplifting, car theft and vandalism — may not be investigated.
In light of this, many citizens have questioned why the British police force is still putting substantial tax-payer resources into policing “online hate speech”, as well as setting up “hate crime awareness” vans and tents around the UK. The Times newspaper recently published statistics revealing that British police are arresting 9 people per day for posting “offensive messages” on social media. In October, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd outlined a new national police unit devoted to prosecuting citizens for posting “hateful material” online.
Several British constabularies have also faced widespread criticism for a series of expensive PR stunts over the past few months. These included encouraging male officers to paint their nails and go out on patrol to raise awareness of slavery, drive around in rainbow-colored cars to celebrate LGBT rights, wear high heels to celebrate gender equality, dress up in bear costumes, and most recently, hold a gay pride event in which children were invited to color on police cars with felt-tip pens.
UK police just completed a two week firearms turn-in period, as well. England and Wales , especially London, have experienced a substantial rise in gun crime. Despite the existing draconian gun controls, firearm related incidents rose by 42% from 2015 to 2016.
Tucker is a foreign correspondent and media analyst for Not Liberal.