The alarming problem with knife crime on Merseyside and the rest of the UK is the subject of an in-depth series of articles penned by a Liverpool Hope University expert.
The first of Dr Jen Hough’s three-pieces exploring the issue and its historical context was published by the Liverpool Echo today (Monday, June 24).
Dr Hough, who is a lecturer in social science at Hope, takes a deeper look at the issue of knives in criminal activity, how serious the problem is, and where the solutions may lie.
Her initial piece asks why knife crime suddenly seems so bad?
Part Two will look at why knife crime is currently increasing, and Part Three will focus on ways the problem could be tackled.
She writes: ‘We are all aware of the recent issues with knife crime. It seems as though there are new cases every day and tragically more and more young people are losing their lives as a result of this violence. But why does it suddenly seem so bad?
'Using a sharp instrument as part of criminal activity is nothing new.
'Throughout history, gangs like the Peaky Blinders used weapons including knives and razors to intimidate rivals while the threat of force has always been available to the opportunistic criminal.
'The key similarity is ‘fear of harm’. It is what concerns communities as they read headlines about an increase in knife crime.
'It is what makes a frightened victim hand over their watch or wallet or phone. It can stop rivals from entering another gang's 'turf'.
'Trends often appear within crime and can make events seem considerably more shocking than they really are, especially when reporting seems to focus on those areas.
'But is this what is happening today?'
You can read the rest of Dr Hough’s article here.