The cost of Knife crime in the borough of Southwark is increasing yearly, with just over 700 knife related incidents last year. The highest in the capital. The knife crime epidemic has come to the forefront of the news in recent years as we have seen knife related injuries and crimes increase. The average cost of a stab wound according to the Home office is £851, and with the borough having the highest knife crime statistics in the capital, the cost on the NHS reaches its millions.
Knife crime puts a tremendous strain on the National health service and seeing patients with sometimes chunks and gashes taken out of them can be quite a traumatic experience. But what is the cause of the rise in knife crime? Is it a cultural issue or a government issue?
The government have cut funding to NHS services and police services consistently for the last 8/9 years, police personnel were 3.3% of the London population per 1000 Londoners. This is a 0.8% decrease over a 9 year period. Less police personnel on the streets of London could be a factor as to why knife crime is increasing. The police are continuously failing to get a grip of the problem and the cuts in police personnel and resources no doubt plays a part in it. These cuts to police services also put more of a strain on the already overflowing NHS, which in its own respect is having to cut down on its spending too. Are these government cuts breeding newer issues on the streets of London, and stretching already stretched services?
Kim Hamilton, 58 lives in the borough and she claims to be, ‘scared to go out at night.’ as she has seen a rise in hooded youngsters and some wearing balaclavas.
Hospitals in the area include Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital, some of the most highly recognised NHS run facilities in the country and they are well respected for the specialised work they do. However, the cuts to NHS staffing costs reached its hundreds of millions and 107,743 job posts are left unfilled, this no doubt has hit the hospitals in Southwark. Jamie Dawson, 33 told me he was waiting up to 4 hours to be seen. And recent numbers show you can be waiting up to four and a half months for surgery.
Knife crime in the borough exceeds the number of knife related crimes anywhere else in the capital, and it has done for many years. Can parents be doing anything to prevent the rise in knife crime? its a question put to Londoner Tony Walsh, 54. He says, ‘Yes most definitely, its not hard to spot the signs with your kid surely? if they’re dressing a certain way as seen amongst youngsters nowadays or talking a certain way you should take much more of an interest on who they socialise with or where they are at all times.’