More people are carrying knives in Croydon for personal safety, according to a recent survey that found knife crime at a four-year high in the capital.
Croydon was ranked within the top five worst boroughs for knife related violence in the Evening Standard study, as 1026 incidents occurred in the last year, and first for knife-related murders after six people were killed in the borough last year.
While knife crime is on the rise, the study showed that gang-related knife violence accounted for less than 5 per cent of incidents. Senior Scotland Yard detectives say that gang-related knife crime has been reduced.
The real issue is an increasing amount of young people carrying knives for protection, most common within the boroughs with high levels of knife crime.
Speaking to ELL, Patrick Green director of the Ben Kinsella Trust, set up in 2008 after the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Ben Kinsella, said the findings were worrying.
“More young people are coming to us saying they feel the need to carry a knife for their personal safety,” he said.
“There’s a big gap in terms of education and so many misconceptions when it comes to knives. People believe that carrying a knife is relatively safe as stabbing someone in certain places won’t do a lot of damage”.
A 21-year-old man was stabbed to death in Lewisham this weekend, proving just how serious the issue is becoming, especially within the South London boroughs.
The Mayor of London echoed these concerns last year, announcing £400,000 plans to tackle the issue in July. Speaking to the BBC he said: “We need to send a strong message that carrying a knife is completely unacceptable, and is more likely to ruin your life than to save it.”