In Brief

Knife crime: Javid demands end to ‘senseless violence’

Two teenagers were killed in stabbing incidents over the weekend

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has demanded an end to “senseless violence” following the fatal stabbings of two teenagers at the weekend.

Yousef Makki and Jodie Chesney were killed in separate knife attacks as newly published figures have suggested a 93% increase in children being stabbed over five years. The Daily Mail describes the data as a “knife to the heart of Britain”.

Javid who will meet chief constables on Wednesday, said: “We're taking action on many fronts... It is vital that we unite to stop this senseless violence. Young people are being murdered across the country, it can't go on.” 

Jodie Chesney, 17, was killed in a knife attack in an east London park on Friday night. In what her family describe as a “totally random and unprovoked attack,” she was stabbed in the back as she played music with five friends in a park. 

Writing on Facebook, Jodie’s grandmother, Debbie Chesney, said: “We don’t want anyone else to go through what our family is suffering. This has to stop, there are too many young people having their lives cut short by needless violence.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted that he was “devastated” over Chesney's death.

Then, on Saturday evening, 17-year-old Yousef Ghaleb Makki, was stabbed to death in Hale Barns, near Altrincham. Two boys, also aged 17, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Daily Telegraph describes Makki as a “gifted private schoolboy who dreamed of being a heart surgeon”. 

Three teenagers have died in knife attacks in two weeks in Birmingham, prompting West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson to describe the issue as a “national emergency”.

Hazrat Umar, 17, was killed in Bordesley Green last Monday; Abdullah Muhammad, 16, died in Small Heath the previous week, and seven days before that Sidali Mohamed, 16, was stabbed outside a college.

An investigation led by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme found the number of police recorded offenders under 18 committing homicides using a knife or sharp instrument rose by 77% from 26 to 46 from 2016 to 2018. The number of police recorded offenders aged under 18 committing rape and sexual assault with a knife rose from 24 to 33, while robbery with a knife rose from 656 to 999.

“Data from the NHS shows in the last five years the number of children aged 16 and under being treated for assault by a knife or other sharp objects rose by 93%, from 180 admissions in 2012/13 to 347 in 2017/18,” reports The Guardian.

In October, the Home Office announced a range of actions to tackle violent crime, including a £200m youth endowment fund.  

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