New project launches ‘Beyond the Blade: The truth about knife crime in Britain’

Teenage knife crime is a tabloid obsession, blamed on feral youth running riot in our cities. But the reality is much more complex – and we cannot save lives if we do not understand it.” – Gary Younge

The Guardian newspaper has launched a new project documenting knife crime in the UK. The aim is to record the deaths of children and teenagers who have been stabbed, and build a national database that will effectively provide data and create a publicly available and comprehensive overview of these fatalities; exploring issues around their short lives, and ensuring effective reporting of the incidents.

Led by Gary Younge – author of Another Day in the Death of America – and Guardian reporter, Damien Gayle, the series will run for a year. It is estimated that around 25 young people were killed by knives in 2016; however, publicly available national data doesn’t exist. According to Gary Younge, “The latest figures suggest that the scale and causes vary between London and the rest of the country. Understanding microclimates is crucial.”

Through ‘Beyond the Blade’, The Guardian aims to approach the issue thoroughly and consistently, looking at what themes emerge from the deaths; speak to people who are looking for solutions; investigate the impact of knife crime upon Britain’s young people, and expose the myths that surround it.

The Guardian is reaching out to people across the UK to learn about local groups or projects dealing with this issue, and will be engaging with professionals in a range of fields.

Whether you’re affected as a young person, or a professional in education or youth work, your insights will help understand this issue. You can sign up for fortnightly updates about the project by visiting:

https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2017/apr/07/beyond-the-blade-your-responses-to-our-project-on-knife.

If you would like to find out more about this project, there is a good deal of information here:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/knifecrime.

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