Knife-Control Debate Heats Up in the UK amid London Murder Spike

'Britain will definitely toughen knife laws, yes'

The debate over knife control has taken on a new sense of urgency in the United Kingdom after news of London’s murder rate spiking to record levels broke last week.

In the wake of London’s murder rate surpassing that of New York City for the first time, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced new knife-control initiatives in the city. He said London would increase police patrols, grant extra stop and search powers to police on certain patrols, and increase efforts to take people out of gangs by giving them job training. He reiterated the city’s position that there is no need for anyone to carry a knife.

“No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife,” Sadiq Khan said on Twitter. “Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law.”

Murders in the city have increased over the past year, and criminal knife use has been identified as a major contributing factor. Both gun crime and knife crime saw dramatic increases between fiscal year 2015/2016 and fiscal year 2016/2017, according to statistics released by the Metropolitan Police. Knife crime saw a 24 percent increase with a 20.5 percent increase in stabbings. Gun crime saw a 42 percent increase with a 57 percent increase in armed robberies.

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