The following sample essay focuses on a big problem in the UK – knife crime. Read the introduction, body and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.
Knife crime is a big issue in the UK: many people have lost their lives in knife stabbing with some survivor but who has been left disabled or with big scars on their body. Last year 900 serious crimes were recorded in Merseyside. When we look at the statistics of knife crime in the United Kingdom it compared to other crimes it is stressful.
In 2011 33,000 knife crimes were recorded; this number went up to 40.000 in 2018, year ending in March each. The Home Office records in 2017 that knife and sharp instrument are used in 30% of Homicide; around 20% of perpetrators of knife crimes are aged between 10 and 17 and 70% are over 18years old. When they analyzed crime by Region for the year ending in March 2017, they found out that London took the lead with140 knife offenses over a population of 100,000 followed by the West Midlands 65, the Yorkshire and Humber 55and the Northwest in the fourth position with 50 knife crimes over 100.
000 population. When we look at the criminal Justice system statistics, people sentenced to over six months in prison went up from27% year ending in June 2009 to 40% in 2018, sentences between three and 6 months went up as well from 32% in 2009 to 42% In 20018, while the those of three months and less went down from 43% in 2009 to19% in 2018. Despite the high number of death in knife attack, the Home office source on what kind of crimes are knives use for’ showed that 47% of them are Assault, 43% for robbery, 17% for treat to kill, 2% attempt to kill and another2% for rape and or sexual assault.
The Home Office noted that the Stop and search in England and Wales has dramatically dropped from 1200,000 2009/2010 to 240,000 in 2017/2018. Criminologists have tried to look at this problem and have expressed different views in the effort to assist in finding solutions. Left realist such as John Lea, jock Young, and Roger Matthews agreed with Marx that Capitalism pushes young people into delinquency. However, they turned to call Marx an idealist because he just concentrated on talking about causes of crime without providing any real example solutions to the problem. For them describing crime and causes with no contribution to its elimination or reduction does not change the situation. They were looking for methods and practical ways to tackle it instead. The left realist criminologists stressed that relative deprivation where people become aware of the gap between them and the rich ones is one of the causes of delinquency. When individuals are locked into poverty and the social mobility to access the higher class in blocked, they tend to seek success in the opposite way. Therefore they become unhappy with no hope for progress in normal life and decide to orient their energy and ambition into crime. They find easy to integrate into criminals groups because they might have the same frustrations. Then their victims are the poor deprived economically, socially and politically living in the inner city mostly in very poor housing area because the rich are protected enough; living in residential Area with great security that block criminals access. Criminals such knife criminals are originally part of the wider community but once they are marginalized their expectations are turned down, the only option left to them would create subcultures groups because their subscription to the dominant value of their community was blocked: this means there no possibility to be part of the normal society. The only option left to them would be to integrate a different type of community where they can be accepted.
Those people mostly young would tend to find another way to succeed by joining offenders or gangs subcultures such as knife criminals. For example, some youth criminals go into substances misuses, some of them can combine this with knife crime as taking drugs would drive them made making easier for them to afford to stab their victims. Steve Hall argued that some people are grown in such social conditions where they are “denied love, rights and self-esteem”. They accumulate frustrations and anger that turn them into criminals. He recommended the Criminologists to look at the fact that “some people are labeled criminals, not others than focussing on the characteristics that distinguish criminals from non criminals”. Another problem is the reaction to crime: that is defined as “the social process characterizing media, public, political and criminal justice responses to crime and deviancy. The response often stereotype, stigmatize, label, criminalize, scapegoat and/or amplify the behavior of certain individuals and groups”(Mc Laughlin; E. Muncie; J page 407). ” Moral panics about street crime are engineered to justify harsh and authoritarian laws; a criminal justice system is a tool used for the purpose of maintaining the statiquo’ serves and protect only the interests of the powerful members of the society”. (Steve Hall, 2012 Page 109). On symbolic interaction side, some individuals who failed to integrate into the society try to find a group to belong to: they are not part of the normal society so better join a different community or subculture that being nowhere at all. They then find meanings outside in different groups of deviants. ( Steve, 2012, page108).Marx, Engels, and Durkheim agreed that crime was nothing than a symptom of the decline of social solidarity and can go down when the social solidarity improves. ( Lilly; R. Cullen; F, T. Ball; R, A. 2015. page177).
Charles Murray(1990) brought in a slightly new idea in the right realism; he claimed that there is a new group of young people who are not interested in working, claiming benefits, moving from one partner to another easily as they take no responsibility don’t contribute to the education of their children or simply abandon them to their mums. Those children brought up in such situation are suffering from lack of proper socialization; single mothers might not be able to teach them the norms values of the wider society, for example, boys would lack the male role model to follow and all that are problems that lead to children developing or joining existing offenders group. Grown with no respect no values of the norms, beliefs and rules of the community, they would themselves be more likely to follows their parents’ footsteps into belonging to the underclass. However, both right and Left realism agree on the fact that crimes including knife crime are a big problem that needs to be addressed. The underclass generation tend are more likely to be isolated, established in their behaviour and their victims are the poorer and powerless member for the community. Some criminologist such as Wilson and Herrnstein believe that crime emerges from society. So Wilson blamed socialization for not taking seriously the socialization of children into values and norms of the society from an early age.