British home secretary Sajid Javid will meet with police chiefs following the fatal stabbings of two teenagers in two days, the latest of 256 knife crimes reported this year.
Some police leaders consider knife crime—which increased by 93% in five years among children—a national emergency.
Crime and Justice Studies Centre director Richard Garside disagrees, telling the Guardian knife crime affects a “very small number of the general population”, partly why “the policy world” failed to address the issue systemically.
Public health-based approaches to curbing homicide have gained traction since the 1990s. Cities in Colombia, Scotland, and the US have successfully implemented mental, physical, and social health strategies to combat lethal crime.
In September 2018, London mayor Sadiq Khan announced public health-driven solutions to crime epidemics, including the Violence Reduction Unit, copied from a programme which halved Glasgow’s murder rate.
Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Hogan-Howe endorses more aggressive anti-drug actions and increased officer recruitment. Javid launched a much-criticised asbo-style policy for knife-carriers aged 12 onwards.
Responses to violent crime range from tougher sentencing and multiplied personnel to improving education, economic prospects and mental health services.
How should societies approach reducing violence?
Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.