In response to the rise in knife crime and knife carrying in the Borough, Haringey Council have commissioned the Godwin Lawson Foundation to carry out a research programme to:
• Explore local young people’s issues relating to carrying of knives and knife crime, including Education, Prevention, Early Intervention, Targeted Support, Deterrence, Disruption and Detection
• Identify specific factors which young people deemed to facilitate/inhibit involvement in knife crime and knife activity
The final report is to feed into the development of a local crime action programme. The aim was to speak directly to young people who live in the Borough and who are at risk.
The process was aimed at finding out what their attitudes and expectations are, and to identify from them what they think should be done to deal with the problems knife carrying leads to.
The findings of this research have shown that knife carrying is a wider problem than has previously been thought; girls are involved as well as boys and, as involvement can start with children as young as seven years old, effective intervention has to be considerably earlier than it has been up until now.
It was felt interventions should be targeted at those who have low self-control and other factors contributory factors to their instability, such as a positive attitude to offending. We include the SVAS table of risk factors for serious violence as a comprehensive list. Knife carrying is accepted as normal by many young people, and even if young people do not themselves carry, they are unlikely to get involved in dissuading friends who do carry. Personal experiences of knife crime, particularly seeing deaths, are traumatic, but for many knife crime/carrying is so normal, that they seem desensitised to the problems. Read more here
For the first time in BBC’S EastEnders history, Friday’s episode was shaped from real-life accounts of families who have lost loved ones to knife crime in London. Yvonne Lawson founder of The Godwin Lawson Foundation was approached by EastEnders producers to take part in the special instalment which was aired on BBC ONE. We hope that the EastEnders storyline will encourage parents to have a conversation with their children about their personal safety, as the storyline of Shakil’s murder in EastEnders is not just a storyline, it happens in real-life. Please watch Godwin’s story here.