Knife Crime: Money's not the game-changer


We love a stat. So here’s one which has recently been painted over the news: knife crime’s at a nine-year high.

But stats don’t really cut it. These are human beings.

On 22 February, a young man named Sidali Mohamed was knifed down in my own community.

Soon after, Hazrat Umar and Abdullah Muhammed suffered the same fate, only a few minutes’ walk from the first attack. And the media are buzzing.

Who’s fault is it? It’s because of the budget cuts. We need more coppers.

The government have pledged £100 million to the police. Justice Minister Rory Steward is promising tougher sentences for carrying knives. That’ll do it, right?

No. It won’t.

Coppers 24/7

I spent last weekend with Ian Williamson, a pastor who grew up and now ministers on a Middlesbrough council estate.

Ian’s dad left home when he was eight and he was told to be the man of the house. But he was a kid – how could he protect his mum?

Well, he carried a knife to feel safe.

“The only way having more coppers on the street would have stopped me carrying a knife is if they were going to move into my house 24/7,” said Ian.

This isn’t a simple numbers game.

Hope 24/7

“I needed a father-figure,” Ian continued. “I needed to see what it meant to be a godly man. But these boys need more than that; they need hope – a hope that only Jesus can give.”

Investing more money into policing is a good thing.

But dysfunctional vacuums of hope aren’t solved by throwing money into them – we need more than that.

We need a hope that tastes better than revenge (Romans 5:2); we need a hope that gives more security than knives (2 Timothy 4:18); we need a hope that transforms us within (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Money’s not the game-changer. We need Jesus.