What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?

Last updated on August 17th, 2023 at 09:03 pm

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sorry, What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us? is a bit misleading, it should really be entitled What Have The Tories Ever Done For Us?

I stumbled upon a report issued by the Office for National Statistics back in September that seems to have slipped under the radar and avoided comment.

It was entitled Knife Crime in England and Wales and was published on 31st September.

The report’s authors are Grahame Allen and Megan Harding. Grahame is the Senior Library Clerk at the House of Commons, and Megan is an Assistant Research Analyst, also at the House of Commons.

They have taken a look at Knife Crime in England and Wales since 2010, coincidentally the same year that Cameron’s coalition government swept majestically into power.

Firstly, what is Knife Crime? Not quite as straightforward as it sounds, Knife Enabled Crime is first and foremost an allegation of Crime, Violent and Sexual Offences, which is accompanied by the use (or threat) of a Knife, Chisel, Screwdriver or other sharp object, but NOT broken bottles

The above-referenced report states that between 2010/11 and 2020/21 Knife Crime has risen from 32,386 offences to 41,259 in 2020/21, having peaked at 48,707 in 2019/20. However there is a more recent dataset which puts the year to end of June 2020/21 level at 43,574.

Firstly we have Police Recorded Offences, previously much maligned, but now the ONS seems to be giving them some credibility..

What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?
Fig 1

Looking at the above chart, it seems to me that Knife Crime was slowly reducing from 2010 when Cameron and May took over until 2014/15 when it started to climb again, possibly coinciding with the disastrous cuts to the Police Service starting to be felt on the streets.

I cannot conclusively demonstrate that that is the primary reason, but it is certainly not unreasonable to assume that it had some effect. 2014 was the year that Theresa May announced that she would be ‘reforming’ Stop and Search as “the numbers had to come down.

Between 2018 and 2020 Knife crime offences peaked at just over 48,000 per annum. A good sign that trying to persuade the Police to conduct less Stop and Search was the correct strategy.

2020/2021 saw a small reduction in Knife Crime, but then Covid had struck by then and there were a few ‘lockdowns’ keeping people off the streets, so maybe no surprise that the numbers are slightly down.

What sort of offences are being committed by people armed with knives, and how much has it changed since the Tories fell into power?

What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?
Fig 2

Everything except Robbery has increased over the years. The Party of Law and Order seem to be slipping behind. Worryingly Rape and other Sexual Offences involving a knife have more than doubled. Only Robbery has reduced.

How does it look geographically? Where are the ‘hotspots’ and ‘coldspots’ and have they changed with time?

What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?
Fig 3

London and its environs claims a reduction, but the really worrying trend is the fact that huge swathes of the country that were relatively untroubled 10-11 years ago, are now definitely blighted by the scourge of Knife Crime. The only county that is still relatively untouched is County Durham

I have never been a huge fan of Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) data, and I’m still not, but on this occasion the picture it presents is more or less the same shape as recorded Crime

What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?
Fig 4

Data from Hospital Attendances is only slightly more forgiving, but still, at the very least does not show any kind of decline.

What Have The Romans Ever Done For Us?
Fig 5

Here we are, 10/11 years later and what HAVE the Romans (Tories/Government) done for us?

Despite Theresa May calling for reforms and much reduction of Stop and Search, no valid alternative has been proposed, and it is my personal view that it is still a valid tactic, but needs to be properly (lawfully) used and efficiently managed. I actually believe that Theresa May and her, then, advisors should bear some of the responsibility for this because of their agenda.

As I have pointed out numerous times before, every single one of those dry statistics involves a weapon that has been carried (frequently concealed) through our streets and is vulnerable to being found by Stop/Search. Every weapon found and taken off the streets is potentially a life saved, a family not destroyed.

There is no excuse, with very few exceptions, for carrying any knife (let alone a Zombie knife etc) through the streets and I really don’t understand why some politicians/athletes/celebrities have a problem with Police tactics. Speaking for myself I would much rather be stopped and searched 100 times than stabbed once.

Therefore my conclusion is, that over 10-11 years the current, and preceeding, Tory/Coalition governments have done NOTHING for us in relation to curbing this epidemic of Knife Crime. I am totally fed up with Police Officers being lectured on how they should reduce their Stop/Search activities by people who actually do nothing more than talk about it and seem unwilling, or unable, to propose any viable alternatives.

If you do nothing else, give the Police and the Public some alternative options to evaluate and discuss.

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