Knife Crime: We Need a Different Solution

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Let’s face it, the current strategies aren’t working very well.

The number of fatal stabbings in England and Wales last year was the highest since records began in 1946, official figures show.

There were 285 killings by a knife or sharp instrument in the 12 months ending March 2018, Office for National Statistics analysis shows. The ONS says one in four (71) of all victims (285) were men aged 18-24. The figures show a 45% increase in the number of victims aged 16-24 and a 23% increase in those aged 25-34.

There were 132 people killed in London – the highest for 10 years if you exclude those killed in terror attacks

The figures on homicide do not generally vary hugely from year-to-year, which is why the steep increase in fatal stabbings to an all-time high is particularly striking.

It provides further evidence that knife crime is arguably the greatest law enforcement challenge facing the Home Office, police and communities across England and Wales.

Ministers have blamed much of the rise in serious violence on disputes between drug gangs. The figures provide some support for this with a slight increase in drug-related killings: 44% now compared with 40% in 2008.

In the past two years, 58% of suspects and 35% of victims were dealers or users. However, drugs are unlikely to account for the entire rise in cases of murder and manslaughter.

One of the things that is repeated over and over in the media, by politicians and senior police officers is:

“It’s highly complex”

I don’t think it is complex.

I’m not saying it’s easy – I’m saying it’s simple.

Whether drug-related or not, I would argue that it comes down to the same fundamental cause: an innocent misunderstanding about the way the human experience works.

As Dr George Pransky says, it’s all explained by:

“Chronic bad feelings, misunderstood and misattributed”

In other words, it looks like our experience is coming from out there. It looks like my life IS my circumstances, how much money I have, my status with my peers.

People don’t know that their experience is 100% created inside-out, rather than outside-in.

People don’t know that they are fundamentally OK regardless of circumstances. That we have a built-in capacity for resilience, creativity, clarity and peace of mind.

Thinking about the perpetrators and victims of knife-crime:

If it looks to you like the world is unsafe, it makes perfect sense to carry a knife to protect yourself.

If it looks to you like more money will make you happy, and you don’t see any other options, it makes perfect sense to deal drugs.

If it looks to you that your self-esteem and well-being are coming from having the latest fashionable trainers (or anything else), then it makes perfect sense to feel you ‘must’ have them.

If it looks to you like your best bet for a feeling of belonging and connection will come from joining a gang, it makes perfect sense to join a gang.

Or, let’s say you’re a Government Minister, or a senior police officer. If you believe the human experience is created from the outside-in (as most of them do), then it makes perfect sense to only see solutions that are based on more policing, more stop-and-search, more ‘punishing’ of offenders.

I’d like to share one example of how this inside-out understanding is already making a huge difference. My friends from One Solution, Mara and Eirik https://www.onesolutionglobal.org/ have been working with gang members in the notorious South Side of Chicago. After being introduced to this simple understanding of how our minds work, the gang members themselves are sharing it in their local communities, and are recruiting more and more young people into a movement they call “Rebels for Peace”. It’s very inspiring – you can find out more here:

https://www.onesolutionglobal.org/chicago

And here you can find out more about various different projects One Solution Global are involved in around the world:

Or look at the evidence collected by another friend, Jacqueline Hollows, who runs a social enterprise called Beyond Recovery. http://beyond-recovery.co.uk/.

Jacqueline and her team do a lot of work in prisons in the UK, and working with ex-offenders and addicts – and have demonstrated how this understanding decreases:  depression, anger, anxiety, recidivism rates and substance abuse.

And increases: Mental Well-Being and Purpose in Life

The only sustainable solution is increasing the level of consciousness across society.

When you understand where your experience is coming from, it simply doesn’t make sense to ‘blame’ anybody else for your feelings, or the quality of your life.

When you know that you are fundamentally OK – and you are creating your moment-to-moment reality from the inside out, you are also plugged in to the love, connection, peace of mind, clarity and resilience that is our true nature. You feel good about yourself, and about Life. It simply doesn’t make sense to hurt anybody else. You couldn’t do it.

I’d love to know your views!

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