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Sunday, November 06, 2016

POPPIES + peace... fighting for peace with flowers

THE POPPY, at this time of year (a time remembering the slaughter of many in wars) is a poignant reminder of lives gone, people dead at the hands of often poor quality politicians (and/or political system) and stupid powers-that-be, lives laid down as a form of self-defence, defending families and populations at home.

I've been reading several articles about wearing a poppy in November in the run-up to the Armistice remembrance - a longing for peace marked by similarly poor quality politicians who have sent many to their deaths in the past.



I look at the huge numbers of poppies that abound at this time and 'see' a sea of blood, wasted lives, societies and families losing their children, parents, friends and other loved ones. People worth remembering - and then prompting thoughts of how to achieve peace.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Knife and firearms crimes now up to c.34,000

TERRIBLE to record that knife and gun crimes are continuing to grow each year - latest data shows increases by more than 10% (28,664) and 4% (5,127) respectively.

Public authorities appear complacent where the former Home Office minister and now PM Theresa May is saying nothing, and the ONS (Office for National Statistics) apparently tries to gloss over the situation by stating longer term figures 'look better when compared to 2011 data'.

Fears about the current rise in violent crime are not calmed by reference back to statistics from a few years ago. Just as the ONS state there are current issues and anomalies with data collection, past figures could be inaccurate too.

The trend in England and Wales is upward, and has been for about two years at least - so what is being done about it?

One quote from a minister at the Justice department states people carrying knives can expect a custodial sentence; little other information indicates authorities are developing effective solutions.

London has committed £400k to projects across the capital - but national impetus seems to lack coordination and drive.

Knife crimes statistics in various regions of the country

Media coverage tends to focus on lack of measures to solve the problem, citing cuts in police numbers on the street leading to more violence in the country:


Campaigning mum Theresa Cave, whose son Chris was killed in a knife attack, is a regular visitor to schools with an anti-knife programme called POINT7.

She said: "I think education and deterrents are the answer, as well as stricter laws that fit the crime. Until examples are made of criminals then it will unfortunately continue to get worse."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New PM Theresa May: Stance on knife crime

THERESA May is the new UK Prime Minister, so I just thought to take a look at her record on knife crime.

May has had a strong focus on changing policing (and I remember well her recent response on criticisms of policing during the Hillsborough travesty and subsequent cover-up at taxpayers expense).

She doesn't seem to think Tory or British politics might be at fault, deciding to give the Met Police a hard time about their public 'excuses' for what's causing rises in knife and other violent crime.

It's a complicated issue; interesting to read then this Telegraph article here where May says police knife crime claims are untrue

I've tweeted Government ministers, politicians and others over the past few months about the alarming rise in knife crime with little acknowledgement about how this is being tackled. Can't help feeling, in terms familiar to Christians like Theresa May, that my voice and that of other victims has been a 'voice crying in the wilderness' of British society, police and politics.

No doubt any movement down on knife crime statistics will be lauded by politicians as success of their policies, and the police could claim success too. Can we expect more silence if no improvement happens or things get worse so that UK streets become more dangerous? Probably - unless the Press and public figures can raise the temperature.

I noticed too that knife crime campaigners calls for better retail controls are being implemented, signalled by Theresa May at the Home Office’s International Crime and Policing Conference in March this year. This is good news... established business and ruling powers have listened to common sense.

I remember raising the retail issue on this blog way back in 2006 when a killer went to a local shop in my home city Chichester, spotted some deadly knives on sale and bought a huge hunting blade unchecked before going on to fatally stab Mcdonalds supervisor Jackie Marshall. It's 10 years since Jackie's killing but pleasing to see some real change for the better here.

Considering the above, I think the anti-knife crime movement is working. We are toiling away to try to make society safer and we seem to be making progress, although that progress is slower than we'd like.

Latest knife crime and violence figures:


Increases since Sept 2015 - homicides are up 11% (573 murders, an increase of 56) and offences involving knives and sharp instruments have increased by 9% to 28,008.

UK rise in violent crime over recent years

Please, join our work... Join the conversations and events you see online or offline about tackling this scourge of UK society and you will be joining the anti-knife - and anti-gun - crime campaigners... We are a force for good.


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