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Slough teenager helps lead investigation into knife crime 'epidemic'

A report investigating the knife crime ‘epidemic’ in the UK has been launched with the help of a teenager from Slough.

Susuana Senghor, 17, worked alongside fellow members of the Youth Select Committee to produce the document titled ‘Our Generation’s Epidemic: Knife Crime’.

The committee, a British Youth Council initiative which has 11 representatives aged 11 to 18, revealed its findings at a special House of Commons reception on Wednesday.

Inequality within communities across the UK was found to be a reason why some young people are vulnerable to the draw of violence and gangs.

The report recommended the government should halt its extension of stop and search powers until the disproportionate targeting of black men has been addressed.

It also said the government should consider whether short-term custodial sentences for youngsters who carry blades is an effective way of deterring them from involvement in knife crime.

Rachel Ojo, chair of the committee, said: “The Youth Select Committee is concerned with the government’s increasingly punitive approach to tackling knife crime.

“If the government wishes to confront the fundamental causes of the rise in violent crime among young people, it must do more to address and improve the difficult circumstances many young people are facing.”

The impact of knife crime has been felt in Slough over the past six months with two teenagers being killed in stabbings.

Elton Gashaj, 15, died following an incident at Salt Hill Skate Park on September 21 while Mohammed Ashraq, 18, was killed in a stabbing in Wexham on January 4.

The Youth Select Committee’s report was launched following a UK-wide ballot of 1.1 million people aged 11 to 18 in January in which young people declared knife crime their biggest concern.

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  • Stranger

    01:26, 15 February 2020

    What's this? Another young human shield a la Greta Thunberg for third rate humanities graduates who find themselves in a dead-end job as mediocre secondary school teachers? If you want to research anthropology and sociology, you go to university, do a bachelors, then a masters, then a PhD thesis. This ensures that credible research methods, scientific methods and statistics are deployed, so that we can actually deal seriously with a serious social problem. No credibility - shame on whoever put this youth brigade up to this and pulled their puppet strings. Go to university, put in the years and the serious effort, then design a research methodology and deploy it, so that you can present meaningful, indisputable results and have them peer-reviewed. Until then, it's just an opinion, and, you know, just as everyone has an a******, so everyone has an opinion. Time to let serious researchers and academics take the centre stage. People who've put in years of study and who have gathered evidence and statistics. Not the school prefect, eh.

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  • be_ transparent

    14:48, 14 February 2020

    This knife crime report tries to promote the theory that the main root cause of knife crime is linked to poverty and inequality but fails to explain why if this is the proffered root cause why there has been a massive increase in knife related crime in young people recently when poverty and inequality have existed since time immemorial. This fatally damages some of the reports conclusions. The report is littered with anecdotes from organisations who appear to have agendas for more funding and blaming austerity with very little causal data to back up their opinions - though much that is said is self evident. It is noticeable like many reports trying to influence government that the report lacks enough mass data analysis to get to any more useful insights bar a few offered to them by contributors. It is high time that writers of reports such as these accessed and published data warehouses so that insights could be crowdsourced instead of thinking analysis is just a basic FOI request to all authorities on a question. Littering the report with identity politics anecdotes will not help this report gain cross bench support - a much more substantial data analysis of facts would have contributed far more and is a missed opportunity. The issues noted around exclusion from school and its correlation with knife crime are particularly welcome esp paragraph 93 of the report. Prevention is the key, and the road to get there is through mass analysis of data not peoples opinions and feelings

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