Watching Sky News this morning, making sure I don’t even catch a glimpse of Jackie Bird, I saw a short piece on how London police have been learning from Glasgow police on how they might reduce knife crime especially fatal stabbings. There were 80 last year in London and none in Glasgow, none in Scotland even. I’ve reported on the much-changed Scottish situation recently, here:
In 2005, Strathclyde Police set up a Violence Reduction Unit which used an holistic approach involving education, social work and other agencies to tackle the problem. Fatal stabbings have fallen dramatically as has violence generally in Scotland. Indeed, in a study of University cities, Scotland’s four had much lower levels of violence with injury than any of those in England, See:
However, London has seen the worst rise. According to Sky:
‘Last year saw the highest number of fatal stabbings in a decade in the capital, with 80 people killed. In response to last year’s 80 fatal stabbings in the capital – the highest number for almost a decade – the Metropolitan Police is increasing its use of stop-and-search tactics, but insists it will be more targeted at habitual knife carriers and applied in known knife hotspots. The force also has officers based full-time in youth offender institutions and others who visit schools regularly talking to pupils of all ages about the dangers of knives. It works, too, with former offenders who advise officers on gang culture and how to talk to gang members. A relatively new tactic is to have police officers stationed in all hospital emergency departments, encouraging medical staff to share information on evidence of knife injuries. It’s an holistic approach that has helped reduce knife crime dramatically in Glasgow, a city branded by the United Nations 12 years ago as the most violent in the developed world.’
In Scotland, there may have been other factors contributing to the changes and these are discussed in my earlier report. London also has marked differences with Glasgow in terms of size, ethnic mix and government policies with regard to poverty. Poverty, is likely to be a major factor and the difference between the harsh UK and caring Scottish governments’ approaches is considerable.
Finally, I can’t find any coverage of this other than on Sky. It reminds of the time I watched, only on Sky of course, Scottish police teaching New York police to hold their fire:
The story was not to be found on Scotland’s Unionist media for the obvious reason that they were busy demonising Police Scotland and the SNP for creating them at the time.