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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Anti-knife crime - Crimestoppers 'shop a stabber' campaign

Crimestoppers anti-knife campaign - "shop a stabber". This Crimestoppers poster (shown here) encourages anyone who knows anyone carrying a knife to report them with a simple phone text.Fantastic idea - let's get texting... a few pence to finger a budding murderer, 10 killers for a quid!

Crimestoppers youth / anti-knife resources - website link

And more information about 'text a stabber' here

Knife crime peaceful protest

In one way, this weekend was heartening - thousands of young people marched through London to make a peaceful protest against knife violence, using their talents and love of life to make a point that life is for living, not ending on the point of a blade.

Parade organiser Colin Stewart said: "We are anxious to get as much positive publicity for this event so we can somehow crash into these guys' worlds and see if we can make a difference."

I watched Colin give an interview to Sky News and he was a strong voice of common sense, advocating good standing up against bad in a non-confrontational way - and clearly articulating that carrying knives is a move to the dark side.

And the prime minister Gordon Brown came out on the side of common sense saying that young people found carrying knives will end up in court.

Yet, with all these fine word and actions, stabbings apparently failed to abate with news of knife attacks making the headlines just as strongly as those people trying to stop them. This is no easy 'war on weapons'.

Important then to focus on, perhaps, the key aspect: let's support the call to "change the culture" towards knives.

This is probably the prime issue. Alter the perception about carrying blades; let's work to see the attitude about owning and wielding the damn things move from cool to cringeable, from kosher to coward.

I'm sure progress can be made here. Just like cigarettes are now 'cancer sticks' to the majority, knives used for life-maiming purposes must be shown to lack zero street credibility. The moral majority among us already know to carry knives is moronic - let's keep up the pressure.

Trouble is, those people with blades are dangerous morons. Just as armed forces act in self-defence to protect people who cannot protect themselves from those that would kill them, so must our police, youth workers and others in the front line patrol the boundaries of society, trying to keep out the hordes of nutters with knives from attacking the innocent and law-abiding.

And let's not forget the point from my previous post - adult society is as much to blame, with some poor values and attitudes on display in business and our daily lives (e.g road rage and company bullying, for instance). This should change too... when you see corporate back-stabbing, managers, public servants and business leaders willing to do their dodgy share of the dirty just to sweep up some extra cash and little focus on the human effect, that's pretty immoral and repugnant too.

The worrying trend here though is that the culture that is developing is starting to sound like some kind of Mob mentiality, closet mafiosi maturing into adult society with violent ways to get what they want. Have the football hooligan generals and foot soldiers of the past moved onto UK streets? I'm willing to bet someone a ton that at least several organised elements are milking these things for their benefit. Stories are already surfacing about how gang members see killing - stabbing or shooting as a status symbol - this is mafia territory: you can read about it on Sky News online here.

This starts to sound more and more like a battle against good and evil. Murderous thugs like these - for that's what they are - must not succeed.

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