Subject Material

London Knife Crime

Published: 03.09.2009, Updated: 03.03.2017
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Londoners have been shocked by a number of brutal knife killings of young people by young people. In the following video clip you will see participants in a debate discuss this worrying development. Their focus is on why this is happening and what can be done to reduce the problem of knife crime. Some of the participants are not easy to understand. Just make sure you get the main points. Listen to the video twice.

Discussion on Knife Crime

 

Comprehension

  1. What is the purpose of the meeting?
  2. What kinds of people are present?
  3. What is the opinion of Dawn Butler, MP (Member of Parliament) on young people's attitudes towards knife crime?
  4. According to the young girl being interviewed, the kids on the streets are not really so tough. What does she say about them?
  5. The various participants share their opinions on why knife crime is so widespread. What are their opinions? List at least three opinions.

Discussion

  1. One of the participants wants longer prison sentences. She says that they'll be back in the streets in 18 months. It is ridiculous! Do you agree?
  2. Sean Benson, former gang member, wants to look at music and the media to reduce the problem of gun violence? What does he mean by that? Do you agree?
  3. The MP suggests that we have to consult young people to resolve this problem. Surely society in general also needs to act. What do you think she means by her statement.
  4. How could compulsory national service in the army help a lot of the young people?
  5. The father of the young boy killed with a knife wants young people to have their own newspaper. How could that help?

Letter to the Editor

Write a letter to the editor where you share your ideas on the following issue:

Some Londoners want harder sentencing to reduce knife crime; others focus on rehabilitation. How do you suggest knife crime could best be reduced in a metropolitan city like London.

How to Write a Letter to the Editor 

Oral exercise

Arrange a debate in class on how to reduce crime among young people.

Some points to consider

  • More policing
  • Harder sentencing
  • Rehabilitation and job training for those who had a bad start
  • Keep the kids at school and off the streets
  • Talk to the kids themselves, let them know you care
  • Reduce media violence

Research

Search UK newspapers for articles on knife crime or follow this link: London knife crime: how bad is it? . Read one article and summarise the contents in a brief list of the main points. Share the main contents of the article with a fellow student. Use phrases like:

  • My article focuses on
  • The main point is that
  • This article claims that
  • According to this article
  • The argument being presented here is that
  • The case being made here is that
  • This article argues that