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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Knife crime statistics show drop - and then Xmas came...

IT SEEMED like better news at the start of this December - a 16% fall was recorded in numbers of criminals who were sentenced or received cautions for carrying knives and offensive weapons.

However, now we stare in dismay at news headlines about the brutal gang-style slaying of Seydou Diarrassouba in London's Oxford Street and other Christmas stabbing murders in Liverpool (Gaynor McGlyn), Rochdale (John Lee Barrett), Nottinghamshire (Gillian Woodward), Sheffield (Joshua Green) and Hackney, London's east end (Kirsty Treloar) - and I saw another knife murder was committed in Portland in the south west of England (Martin Rusling). And then there's the shooting in Salford of Anuj Bidve and mass shootings of three people at Peterlee (Susan McGoldrick, Alison Turnbull and her niece Tanya, and Laura McGoldrick).

What gets into the mind of these mind-numbing killers :'-(  ??

(Stop press:  I've started to lose count of the number of stabbings being reported at Christmas 2011, most of them fatal; it's horrendous and terrifying - Chris Bergin, Catherine Wynter, Scott Cooke, Bronius Juras, Walter Keeling... This must be stopped but how...?)

Latest knife crime data from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):

Official knife crime statistics showed that between July and September 2011, there were 5,466 offences reported by police compared to a higher figure of 6,490 over the same three months in 2009.

The MoJ said offences by adults had fallen from 5,237 to 4,561 (13% less) while the drop in numbers of juveniles seems to have been much more significant with those caught carrying knives and weapons dropping from 1,253 to 904 (28% decrease).

In addition, numbers of knife criminals imprisoned upon conviction of possession of blades or offensive weapons stood at 21%, the lowest figure since Q2 in 2008 when tougher court sentences were implemented to tackle knife crime.

  • In Scotland, Tories claim knife-related murders have increased to a ten-year high with one-in-six court convicted knife crime offenders failing to be jailed.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Consider me human before you stab me

What goes through people's minds when thinking on stabbing someone? Intense desire to 'stop' the victim, to be the powerful hunter rather than the fleeing hunted, some fleeting warped sense of control?

Well, if you're thinking about using a knife to wound or kill, sticking the knife in, try thinking about the person, the human being, before deciding a knife attack will solve something.

I was struck by the lyrics of a record, from quite a few years ago, with lyrics that value human life...

Consider me firstly
A human sound.
Consider me
More to wonder at than pass by,
(or to stab)
More to treasure than justify.
Consider me moving,
Easily moved.
Consider me
More to celebrate than decry,
More to love than to deny.
(or to kill)

Consider me equally different,
Consider me beautifully plain.
Suffering to flower
(pretty much all of us struggle in this life)
But dreaming of rain.
Consider me easily outnumbered
(when chased by a gang)
But certainly sane.
Picture me sleeping
And dreaming of rain.

Consider me wanting,
Keen to give.
Consider me
More to recognise than dismiss,
More to be than this.
(no-one deserves to be stabbed)

- written by Billy Franks / Lee Hirons, played by Faith Brothers

You can click here to hear an excerpt of 'Consider Me'; think it captures the essence of living. No-one deserves to be stabbed.