The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Knife Crime convened a special meeting bringing together MPs and Peers with 16 young people who had been convicted of knife offences or had been victims of knife crime.
The young people came from cities across England and Wales including London, Sunderland, Manchester and Cardiff, as well as smaller towns in areas such as Essex and South Wales. The group of young people was ethnically diverse and included male and female participants. Young people were accompanied by youth workers or representatives of local youth offending teams, who helped prepare them for the session and guide them through the discussion.
They discussed the causes of knife carrying and knife crime in small groups before a wider discussion chaired by APPG Chair, Sarah Jones MP. Around 20 MPs and Peers from the APPG attended, including senior parliamentarians and shadow ministers. All the conversations were recorded and comments transcribed, with young people’s comments anonymised.
The resulting report covers five major themes which were particularly prominent during the discussion. These are:
- Reasons for carrying knives
- Root causes and prevention
- Social media
- Policing, drugs and county lines
- Sentencing and prisons