Trevor Phillips' brilliant explanation on why knife crime happens... and how to stop it

23 January 2020, 08:20

Trevor Phillips perfectly explained the reasons behind the rocketing knife crime in the UK - and pinpointed the things needed to stop it.

Knife crime in England and Wales increased again last year. with figures from police forces showing offences rise by 7% to reach a record high.

Mr Phillips was previously on the London Assembly and has taken a close interest in the causes of violent crime in the capital.

Speaking on Iain Dale's Cross Question, he gave a very insightful take on how we combat the rise.

He said: "Firstly, these are not just quarrels between kids. These are mass assassinations.

"It takes organisation to get a dozen teenagers to chase someone through a shopping centre and stab that particular individual, get the weapons there and so on.

"It is not going to be solved by more police officers. You'd have to have North Korean levels of police officers on the street to be where these things happen because they're organised.

"Secondly, we have to be honest about who is dying and where. There are two young people dying every week in our city. Almost all of them are black. Almost all of them are being killed by other black youngsters.

"And aside from the killing, there are thousands who are being stabbed and put in hospitals. There's a big thing now about stabbing people in the anus, so they have to wear colostomy bags and humiliating them."

Trevor Phillips had a powerful argument about knife crime
Trevor Phillips had a powerful argument about knife crime. Picture: PA / LBC

So how do we solve it? Mr Phillips suggests focusing on the communities at risk is the only way to stop knife crime.

Speaking of the Afghan community, he continued: "A lot of the kids here are coming from war zones and we have done nothing at all once they came here to help them find a way into society and to deal with the traumas that they've been through.

"We need to think about the professions who previously would have intervened. I'm thinking about the fact we've got rid of the park-keepers in most of London's parks, who would have seen and known where the gangs are.

"We have too few school assistants. Michael Wilshaw, who was the headteacher at Mossbourne, cut the violence in Hackney by putting teachers on the streets who would escort teachers on the route home.

"We need to look at what is actually happening and the practical steps, rather than having a large political argument about whose fault it is."