Rising knife crime rates ‘affect whole community’

Charity boss calls for better education around the dangers of carrying knives as Enfield sees an 8% year-on-year rise in the number of stabbings in the borough, reports James Cracknell

Patrick Green (inset) is chief executive of Ben Kinsella Trust
Patrick Green (inset) is chief executive of The Ben Kinsella Trust

An anti-knife crime charity is calling for better education on the dangers of carrying a knife following a rise of incidents in Enfield and across London.

The latest figures from the Metropolitan Police show there were 611 knife offences of all types (including possession) across Enfield in 2023, up 6.8% on the previous year. Of this number, 148 involved injuries being inflicted, representing an 8% rise. This includes the use of any type of bladed or sharp instrument.

The borough now ranks among the worst in outer London for knife crime rates, with 1.8 offences per 1,000 people during 2023 – only surpassed by Croydon (2.1), Barking and Dagenham (2.5) and Haringey (2.8).

Separate figures released last month by the Office for National Statistics confirm that teenagers are over twice as likely to be fatally stabbed than they were ten years ago – with 82% of murders among teenage victims involving the use of a knife or sharp instrument, compared with 41% for those of all ages.

A number of serious stabbing incidents have taken place across Enfield in recent months, most shockingly the death of 16-year-old Taye Faik in Edmonton last October. To date, three people have been charged with Taye’s murder – a 16-year-old girl and two men aged 18 and 20.

Last Friday night, a 66-year-old man was stabbed to death in Ponders End. A woman was arrested on suspicion of his murder yesterday (Sunday 3rd).

Last month, 37-year-old Bledi Petraj was also stabbed to death in Southgate near Grovelands Park. A 21-year-old man has been charged with murder.

In January, a 15-year-old boy was stabbed in the chest in Southbury Road and spent several days in hospital in a life-threatening condition. Four arrests were made but no-one has been charged. Later that month, a 17-year-old was also stabbed in Magpie Close, Enfield.

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An 18-year-old from Edmonton Green last month became one of four people jailed over their role in the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old boy at a birthday party in East London in September 2022. Dainnan Witter-Cameron, of Galahad Road, was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

Patrick Green, chief executive of The Ben Kinsella Trust which aims to tackle knife crime through education and campaigning, told the Dispatch: “The tragedy is this is teenagers killing teenagers. There is a significant increase in teenagers being given custodial sentences for murder. It is a tragedy on all sides – knife crime is a tragedy, where nobody walks away unscathed.

“You are far more likely to be a victim of knife crime under the age of 18.”

The Ben Kinsella Trust was established 15 years ago following the murder of 16-year-old Ben Kinsella in Islington on the night he celebrated his GCSE results. It runs training and workshops in schools and currently has an “immersive” exhibition demonstrating the “choices and consequences” of carrying knives.

“We work with young people starting from year six right up to years ten and eleven, helping them to understand the dangers of knife crime,” Patrick said.

“It needs to be relevant and authentic and not just telling them what to do and what not to do.

“It is pain, misery and suffering that is inflicted, not just on the person affected but the community as well.”

While the struggling economy – which entered recession last month – has played a role in rising crime rates, Patrick says there are wider social trends that concern him more. “One thing that has changed in the last decade is the rise of social media, it is normalising violence and glamourising it, and it has become a platform to buy zombie knives and machete knives – it plays a negative role in their lives.

“Social media companies have not got a grasp of it and are profiting from content with knives.

“These platforms are changing so quickly, you are always one step behind. I can’t understand why these companies don’t self-regulate. It is morally corrupt.”

He added: “We know poverty and deprivation plays a role – it makes it easier for gangs to operate and lure young people in by offering easy money […] but social media is a bigger concern as an unregulated space.”

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