Friday, 24 May 2024

Children more at risk of being stabbed on the way home from school

The study by the journal BMJ Open found that children were more vulnerable between 4pm and 6pm and that stabbings involving young victims are more likely to occur close to home and school.

The research team used data from 1,824 people under the age of 25 who had been treated for a stab wound at a London trauma centre over 11 years.

Of these, 172 were children, 861 were aged 16 to 19, and 791 were aged 20 to 24 and almost three-quarters (71%) of victims were from poorer neighbourhoods compared with just 1% from richer areas.

The research found that, among children, there was a “significant peak in frequency” between 4pm and 6pm.

Stabbings during this timeframe accounted for 22% of all child stabbings, compared with 11% in young adults.

Young adults, meanwhile, were more likely to be stabbed after midnight.

The report’s author Karim Brohi said: “Between school and home children are exposed to violence at an extreme level, whether they’re directly involved in it or whether their friends or classmates are directly involved in it, the research shows that it’s there every day across deprived boroughs of London.”

The number of violent deaths in London so far this year has reached 119, five of these in the past week.

Those behind the report called for better education to reduce violence, suggesting that prevention would be best during primary and early secondary education and using similar schemes in Glasgow as an example.

John Poyton, chief executive of the youth outreach charity Redthread said: “I think that every young person who gets assaulted is one too many and so undoubtedly, we do have a crisis and these deaths in the last few days absolutely show that.

“I think what is interesting moving forward at the moment is there is a recognition from the criminal justice system, senior police officers, that we need to do something alongside enforcement.”

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has previously said it would take a generation to tackle knife crime in the capital.

In response to the research his spokesman said: “Sadiq is leading from the front with a public health approach to tackling serious violent crime, working closely with partners including the police, local communities, charities and youth services to tackle violence through both enforcement and prevention.”

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