NCH said today that nearly a third of children in the UK have been affected by gun and knife crime, in a new report.
A consultation of over 800 children across the UK led by the charity also revealed that 41% of respondents knew somebody who has been personally affected by gun or knife crime. Many reported feeling unsafe in their own community and felt angry about the perception they are more often the perpetrators rather than the victims of gun and knife crime.
Truth hidden by statistics
But the charity warned that the true extent of gun and knife crime involving children under the age of 16 is being hidden by official statistics and called for the age group to be included in the government’s crime survey data.
Launching the report today, NCH chief executive Clare Tickell said that the results were a “dramatic snapshot” into the experiences of young people. “We’re talking about young children who have real detailed knowledge about gun culture,” she added. “We need to stop generalising and labelling young people as just the problem. They are a group that can take us to the solution.”
The consultation has received the backing of television and sports stars. Ali Bastian, an actress in the police drama The Bill, travelled with a group of young people yesterday to deliver the report to 10 Downing Street.