Knife Crime statistics have remained stubbornly high over the last few years, and this is in spite of ongoing campaigns to reduce it.
One such organisation which campaigns to reduce Knife Crime is the Ben Kinsella Trust, named after a teenage victim of Knife Crime from 2008.
The charity has produced numerous teaching resources aimed at key stage four students focussing on the laws surrounding carrying knives and the consequences of carrying them.
Unsurprisingly it has a very victim centred focus, featuring lots of videos with victims of knife crime.
Relevance to A-level Sociology
This is obvious relevance to the Crime and Deviance module and I see two uses to teachers – firstly, some of the resources can be downloaded and adapted, there’s lots relevant to the topic of victimology especially.
Secondly you could get students to analyse the work of the trust itself – getting them to consider how effective such campaigns are, and why they exist.
It does seem somewhat unfortunate that it’s left to the relations of a murdered teenager to spend the rest of their days campaigning to reduce knife-crime, after all.
One would hope that either progressive social change would reduce such incidents OR the police would have sufficient funding to tackle knife crime and at least hold it level (rather than seeing it increasing like it has done recently), but neither of these seem to have been the case, hence why we have a need (a function, in functionalist terms) for charities such as the Ben Kinsella Trust.
It’s a tough one this – a charity doing very positive work, but honestly I’d rather there were no need for it in the first place!