Last year was the worst year in a decade for stabbings in London and in the New Year while most people were celebrating, in the first 6 hours of 2019 two people had already been fatally stabbed.
As I’m writing this, the news is reporting that last night, a 17 year old girl was stabbed to death in a park in Romford, 10 minutes from where we live.
It’s an issue that always plays on my mind, especially being a mum to a boy and especially living within a London Borough. Statistics suggests that in 2018 the London Borough of Newham tops the list for the worst areas for stabbings with Southwark and Enfield close behind. It wasn’t until I shared an article on my Instagram stories that I realised I’m not the only one with this topic at the forefront of my mind, my dm’s were flooded with other mums and dads feeling the same way.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Jax isn’t even 2 years old yet so I’ve got quite a few years to go until I have to worry about this problem... wrong.
According to police figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, some of the knife seizures involved young children, including some as young as five.
Another study (linked here) suggests that UK children have the highest risk of being stabbed on the way home from school, which is absolutley terrifying.
From speaking to mums, I’ve heard about kids being permanently expelled from school for bringing in knives, just to “fit in”, I’ve read stories in the news about kids being searched on the way into school for weapons and schools introducing metal detectors. My road has been closed off and the local school put into lockdown because a teenager who lived down the road was in possesion of a gun.
A common feeling was that parents wanted to move away from London altogether, which, if possible, would probably make us all feel a lot better; but what if you can’t? For me personally, most of mine and my partners family can be found in and around London and moving away would isolate us.
It’s one of the reasons we got Jax into football from such a young age, its not a complete deterrent from trouble but it’s a hobby he might spend a lot of his time doing in the future. But, what is the answer? Do we search our kids before they leave the house; even if its before school?
For me personally, along with us as parents, I think the education system needs to teach more life lessons about what happens if you are caught carrying a knife, how it could affect your future and in the worst scenario, how it could ruin your life. I've heard how strict some schools are with this subject and whilst its good that there's a no tolerance level, which is absolutley correct, prevention is better than cure.
I think it’s safe to say we all worry about our kids, but it’s the knife crime that always gets to me. I hope that in the future our kids are smart enough to say no to carrying knives and confident enough to walk away from confrontation. I'd also hope that they feel comfortable enough to tell us what’s going on behind the scenes in their lives.
In the meantime, I've included a link on what to do if you find out your child is carrying a knife, or even if you just want to read up about it, which you can find here, it also includes useful contacts like Victim Support if you've been on the other side of knife crime and need some advice.
It’s not the nicest subject to blog about but my whole reason for blogging in the first place is to share my concerns about being a mother in the hope that others can relate, and this subject is one of my personal worries because its becoming the norm. It’s never too early to start the conversation; be it amongust ourselves as parents and with our kids.