Comments for en-gb 30 Fri 11 Jul 2014 18:34:04 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at notgodzod i am in complete agreement with AZlewes (comment #10).i'm so so sick of being tarred with the same brush as people who really don't know how to look after themselves or be responsible for their behaviour.i think about what i do, i care about myself and others and society in general. and i resent having my freedom restricted on the grounds that some people apparently cannot be trusted.i lived in south america for a year and carried a swiss army knife around with me all the time - it's a useful tool, even if it's just for peeling and cutting fruit! i also used to take a machete when i went camping. unthinkable in the uk, where the machete is strongly associated with violent crime.we need to remember that knives are, first and foremost, tools. not weapons. and they are very versatile tools, especially swiss army knives.ok, here is a comment that some may find controversial: people say things like 'yes, your freedom is being reduced, but if that saves the life of just one person, then it's worth it!'. i disagree, especially when you consider that it is the freedom of literally millions of people that is being weighed against the reduction in violent crime that measures such as these are purported to achieve.i seriously doubt whether reactionary measures such as restricting the possession of knives will have any serious effect on violent crime. for just one moment put yourselves in the mindset of someone who carries a knife with the intention of using it to hurt people. imagine knife possession is banned. would that make you give up on a life of violent crime?reactionary measures are for weak societies that don't have the balls to invest time and money and effort in actually bringing up people to have self-esteem, respect for others and a love for life. Wed 17 Sep 2008 10:43:28 GMT+1 dishpanhands I was a lad of the 1950s. As with all the other boys around, we'd regularly and openly carry a knife, a long branch of wood made into a spear which we'd sharpened using our knives. We'd also have a bow and a supply of arrows, plus other hand made weapons - which I'm not going to mention, because today they're not seen. (Thankfully.) There was even a game we'd play which entailed throwing our knives close to each others' feet. But the thought of using any of those weapons with malice on anyone never entered our heads.Because that was 50 years ago. Give a child a sheath knife in those days, and the first, and probably the only thing he'd do, would be to find a piece of wood to chip away at. Do the same today and there's a fair chance it could be in tomorrow's news that there'd been another knifing incident.Sadly that's how it is these days. Society was so different 50 years ago. Wed 17 Sep 2008 02:44:37 GMT+1 CalaNova I think Mark Easton is spot on in his assertion that "the British media, including the BBC, must take some responsibility for a different epidemic - a phobia of street violence which diminishes people's quality of life."Alot of media in this country generally seem to emphasize shocking and violent events, without any perspective or putting the event into context.The result for alot of people is fear. As we become more fearful of each other, our quality of life is diminished. Our perception of the world around us is informed by the media we come across.I think that the media should concentrate on providing facts, context and truth, rather than distorting events by emphasing only the shocking or violent.I have noted media in other european countries giving a different, more balanced perspective to events. Tue 02 Sep 2008 11:16:16 GMT+1 llamaffama82 #13 - "What a shame that your article was spoilt by the statement, "The contents of my kitchen draw (sic) has become an arsenal." Further evidence that educational standards have slipped."------What a shame you couldn't put more effort into making a constructive comment on an excellent article and less into such petty pedantry.Excellent blog Mark, a thought provoking read and I agree wholeheartedly. Wed 20 Aug 2008 10:18:30 GMT+1 NickRik The fact that the article looks at the media depiction of crime in 1945 is also ironic as knife crime in that year was probably less of an issue compared to the indescriminate killing of thousands of civilians in Dresden (135,000 people killed), Hiroshima (80,000 people killed), Nagasaki (40,000 people killed).....As many have already said, ultimately it is people not the weapon that kills another person. I´m sure there will always be imperfections in this world but I for one am glad that we have the time to sit around and talk about them without the fear of someone dropping a bomb on our heads any moment. Thu 14 Aug 2008 12:42:36 GMT+1 Sam AZLewes at comment 10 is absolutely correct.However there is already a discrimination at work.A small fine, or community service, or a very short prison stay will have very little effect on Person B who typically will be unable to pay the fine, will abscond the community service, etc.Person A however will likely have a career which will be ruined by the same penalty, peers for whom a prison sentence is not a badge of honour. Wed 13 Aug 2008 13:12:26 GMT+1 Sam We live in a country where the government desperately wants to take control of everything, and which yet shows incredible incompetence at every turn.Coupled with a media who know fear sell news, we have created a society in which knee-jerk reactions and the victim-culture are rife.Nobody wants to take responsiblity for their own actions and nobody seems keen to make others truly responsible.Ironically it is by wanting to protect the rights of those at the mercy of the state through the criminal system, that the rest of us have had our right to civil freedoms stripped from us. Wed 13 Aug 2008 08:30:36 GMT+1 Criag_86 At last, a small piece written by someone speaking truthfully about crime on the BBC. I think its the best and most accurate thing I have read on here in the last two years. Stop making people affraid, report crime truthfully. Tue 12 Aug 2008 04:11:40 GMT+1 PWS1950 A knife first and foremost is a tool, that can admittedly be used as a weapon, and from what I read often happens in the UK.However it seems to me you have backed yourself into this corner by allowing liberal laws to be passed by your elected officials for thugs and villains to go virtually unpunished, and I include prison, as your system tries to rehabilitate not punish offenders (not that it is that much better here but the convicts here do lead a fairly hard life, but who cares).I live in a gun society, I accept that (I emigrated here a dozen years ago) I also accept that if someone breaks into my house I have the RIGHT to terminate him, OK lets be blunt come into my house/car without my permission and I can kill you. I know it, so does the bad guy.Most gas station clerks here are are armed and use their weapons on a regular basis, without court proceedings and whilst both home invasions and gas station robberies still happen they are 1) not as common as they are in the UK and 2) reducing in number as the bad guys are getting fed up of being shot.So don't be to upset about knife crime, if its bad guy on bad guy, who cares if it against you, fight it cos the government certainly will not do it for you, and calling the police means 5 minutes on hold waiting for them to answer, let alone turn up.Its not the states job to defend you, its yours, I sincerely believe and unarmed citizen is a victim and I for one would be preferred to be judged by 12 than carried shoulder high by 6! Mon 11 Aug 2008 17:39:42 GMT+1 loggin So right #28, my uncle (who is a well built chap like myself) is currently being charged for knocking out a thug who was attacking one of his friends who had recently had a heart by pass. When questioned the police responded that the my uncle should have just restrained the big thug with 20 years of youth over him Mon 11 Aug 2008 13:40:48 GMT+1 Fivenations I have always carried a Swiss army knife and have no intention of stopping. Does that make me dangerous? Hardly - it's old and takes so long to find and open the blade that I would have to ask my victim or attacker to wait before I could use it! I'd be better off just throwing it at their head! Even if an attacker got it off me they would have the same problem. I would have called for help by the time they could use it, assuming they have the intelligence to work it out! It would make a great comedy sketch! As my my kitchen arsenal - both parents worked in catering and I have enough knives to arm any local gang. I'm doomed! I'm also irresposible as I bought my eldest his own small kitchen knife when he turned 13 so he could learn to handle a knife and learn to cook. I await a knock on the door.... Mon 11 Aug 2008 07:36:17 GMT+1 BrightonStevie To #32. Some good points worth thinking about. But I would say that us people are less good at telling the difference between fiction and reality than we might like to think. There're the extreme examples of people sending catfood to Coronation St. for the cat in the opening credits, and actors playing unpleasent people on, say, Eastenders being verbally assulted in the street. But more generally, how many of our ideas of America are picked up from Hollywood, which in no way claims to be offering an acurate portrayal, I strongly believe that guns are a lot less common there than my vague impression would suggest for example. In the past I've come up with half remembered facts which I "read somewhere", turned out to be complete fiction which came in under the radar. I don't think any of us are as "rational" as we like to think. Children aren't all that much worse than adults, but they're certainly no better. Mon 11 Aug 2008 05:26:25 GMT+1 UKIntel Ref Comment 37. Here here. I agree comprehensively. Well done for your responsible parenting approach instilled at an early age by your parents.I also will buy my child an (appropriate) pocket knife as I subscribe to the same mindset as you. Fortunately however my children will be also able to carry it in the street as by the time they are old enough for me to give it to them, we will be living in New Zealand as I have given up with the insanity of the UK and am emigrating.Your child however will probably be arrested if (s)he ventures outside the front door and you will be awarded a parenting order.Sad but true and ultimately the point this blog is making. Sun 10 Aug 2008 23:18:23 GMT+1 sarasoaksetters Excellent article. I remember being taken too Sheppards in Gateshead as a young lad to be bought my first knife. That knife was a mark of passage for me. My father thought i was old enought and mature enough to be responsible. I never let him down. I would never have dreamed to have went out and terrorised somebody with that knife.I will in time buy my son and daughter a knife, again they will not go out and use that knife in an incorrect way.Dont blame the knife, blame the kids/ parents who have dragged these kids up. Sun 10 Aug 2008 21:40:38 GMT+1 UKIntel Ref Comment # 33 and #28. Soupy - it seems that you haven't recognized what is tongue-in-cheek, nor actually read what I wrote. Further in some cases you are completely correct about what SHOULD happen according to UK law, but sadly uninformed about what is actually happeningYes, you are correct, my little parody picking up from Comment # 10 is not legally correct. In theory if you are attacked and use reasonable force (as I wrote) to defend yourself from an aggressor, you should never in law be held to have acted unreasonably.Unfortunately for your argument there have been innumerable instances reported in recent years where entirely innocent people have been arrested, detained, interrogated, DNA tested (and their records retained despite subsequently having not been charged), and put through months of misery before having all charges dropped. You might - and probably would say - that this demonstrates that the system works perfectly, however the reality is that all these case do is discourage the vast law abiding majority from taking a stand against the disruptive feckless minority. This has lead directly to the downwards spiral in law and order that we currently see with 'antisocial behaviour' or downright 'petty' criminality being tolerated. As I clearly stated, it is the perception, not necessarily the (legal) reality.Further I hate it when people wheel out the 'Tony Martin' case. He shot an unarmed fleeing man in the back outside his home (albeit on his land) with an unlicensed shotgun and legally got everything he deserved. He was undoubtably guilty of the crime he was convicted of, although in fairness (in my view) the mitigation was so strong that he should never have been imprisoned. Nevertheless this is not a representative case. Far better the recent case in the news of the teacher who discharged a 'firearm' in the street and was arrested, charged and convicted of a firearms offense. That the 'firearm' was a BB pellet gun which you would knock tin cans over with in the garden without making much more than a dent, that she had made numerous complaints to the police about the harassment she and her family had been subjected to by the gang in question, and that she had called the police for help minutes before the incident and been told that no officers were available to help, is apparently irrelevant. Infact police only bothered attending when she snapped and informed the 999 operator that she had a 'gun' (which in reality she didn't) and was going to sort the gang out herself. At that point there were plenty of police to attend the 'crime'. You really couldn't make this up.I particularly like the statement "Please do not believe this, nor tell others it's true. The law is always on the law abiding citizens side - and that will never change. In most of the cases where this does not appear to be the case - the 'law abiding citizen', was not in fact law abiding at all". Actually the above case of the teacher with the BB pistol is a case in point of how fatuous your view is. As a law abiding person (person A in my sketch) the law was quite clearly not able to act for her, through a campaign of sustained abuse by a gang of thugs (person B in my sketch), and did absolutely nothing to help her or her family. The law only acted when she, as an easy target took matters into her own hands. She came of worst. Now you in your statement would say that she was not 'a law abiding citizen' because she went off of her property onto the pavement and discharged a pellet into the ground by the feet of her aggressors. Legally this is true, she committed a crime, but actually only supports my argument that the law is a complete ass which does not support the fundamentally law abiding and where conflict occurs cannot differentiate between a gang member with a MAC10 and a teacher with a BB gun. When pC turned up he should have told her not to be so stupid and arrested the gang members for a breach of the peace before searching them for weapons and drugs. What actually happened was legally correct, morally indefensible and turns justice on its head. There are plenty more example of this. The arrest of two individuals for 'kidnapping' who recently made a perfectly legitimate citizens arrest springs to mind.The point of my original posting which you entirely missed, is that the legal reality which you correctly state is entirely irrelevant so long as the perception persists that the law is not on the side of the law abiding. I stated:"It is this fear of the state by the law abiding which is causing antisocial behaviour in all its forms to spiral because quite simply, the law abiding do not feel able to take action or intervene in any way lest they end up in the cells. Untill this dire situation (or the perception of this situation) is clearly reversed, crime and general disorder will only get worse". This is entirely accurate no matter what the law theoretically states.You also state that:"You have to remember that person A would have to be found guilty by jury - and as jury members HAVE to be law abiding (no crims allowed I'm afraid) - the chances of conviction are near 0. If person A states that they were in fear of their live (even if their life was not threatened) - there is no case for B".Without going off topic into an opinionated debate into the quality of juries, I would simply point out that most law abiding people would now simply accept a police caution (constituting a criminal record) whether or not they have actually done anything wrong, to avoid risking embarking down the legal route of a trial, with the spurious outcomes which might be generated, or more to the point, the time, stress and expense required to prove that they are innocent. (Yes I do know the difference between presumption of innocence and proving that you are innocent and for the most part the presumption of innocence does not appear to be be the starting point for the CPS when dealing with the law abiding).As an aside, even if no charges are forthcoming, what moral right do the police have to retain the DNA of an entirely innocent person? Sun 10 Aug 2008 21:25:10 GMT+1 Pandorawest While we are about outlawing guns and knives we should probably, to be complete, outlaw baseball bats, cricket bats, golf clubs, most hand and power tools, wire and rope, hocky sticks, bricks and, of course, all rocks of any substantial size. These items, in the wrong hands are all potentially deadly weapons. I have no doubt that any examination of criminal history would reveal multiple instances of these items (as well as countless others) being used in homicides. The real point of the matter is that inanimate objects do not kill people in an of themselves - people kill people. The choice of weapon is entirely secondary to the real problem of a society in which violence has become the norm rather than the exception. No matter what 'weapon' is criminalised people will still find ways to inflict violence on others.I was taught to shoot at 5 years of age and continue to enjoy the sport in a non-hunting framework, I own several knives of various descriptions (not including my kitchen cutlery) and even a genuine, razor-sharp, samurai sword. Should this make me a criminal? Certainly not unless I use one of these items to commit a criminal act. Mere ownership of an item should not constitute criminality. Those in charge of maintaining the public safety need to direct their attention and energies at the human perpetrators of crime and stop wasting time and taxpayer funds in the futile and even rediculous criminalisation of inanimate objects. Sun 10 Aug 2008 17:39:56 GMT+1 jacktar1894 I have just checked on and there appears to be some confusion on here about what is legal.Knives where the blade folds into the handle, the blade is less than 7.62cm (3") long, and are not automatically opened i.e. flick knives and butterfly knives are not illegal.Ordinary small pocket knives or multi tools even if they locl open like a leatherman are only illegal weapons if they are used in an offensive or threatening manner.The gentleman's Opinel fruit knife, remains just an innocent fruit Knife until of course he tries to hold up the post office with it.Chin up Sun 10 Aug 2008 16:44:01 GMT+1 TheresOnly1Soupey #28 - I'm afraid you have done British justice a dis-service there.It's not true that innocent person A would end up in court and with a criminal record if person B was the aggressor.Even in the Tony Martin case, it was very difficult for a jury to convict him - even though he shot someone in the back who was escaping out of a window.You have to remember that person A would have to be found guilty by jury - and as jury members HAVE to be law abiding (no crims allowed I'm afraid) - the chances of conviction are near 0. If person A states that they were in fear of their live (even if their life was not threatened) - there is no case for B.This is a 1st year law lesson, the example being if someone breaks into your house and makes you think they have a weapon (even if they don't) then you are at liberty to do what you like to them (within reason) - and as defending your life may mean taking a life - then I'm afraid person B is not in a strong position.I'm afraid you have succommed to a media scam - by exaggerating the fact it makes you think the law is on the side of the criminal. This stops law abiding people from being law-abiding, and supports criminality, and therefore creates more stories for the press. This is the situation in many parts of the country where people simply do not assist others who are in need.Please do not believe this, nor tell others it's true. The law is always on the law abiding citizens side - and that will never change. In most of the cases where this does not appear to be the case - the 'law abiding citizen', was not in fact law abiding at all. Fri 08 Aug 2008 14:16:23 GMT+1 TheresOnly1Soupey Mark - Excellent insight, I am particularly impressed with the comparison of the two media stories which shows how times have changed.I see it very much as a 'immunity' issue. Years of competition in the media has created a situation where each story has to 'better the last' - cause more fear and anxiety than any story previously.This leads to a situation where the true story is lost in the editors thirst for reader numbers. Even to the point where clearly some forms of media are prepared to risk court action from untrue stories, as the increased readership more than compensates.TV is a very good example, when I was a young lad, I was sent to bed just as Hawaii 5-0 started (loved that theme tune) as my parents deemed it to be unsuitable for someone my age (8 yrs old). However, with the de-regulation of the TV world and the introduction of satellite and cable TV - you can now watch Hawaii 5-0 at 2pm in the afternoon without any parental warning, no cuts and no dubbing.Humans haven't changed so much that what was not appropriate for an 8 yr old then, is appropriate for one now. This lack of control is the reason why teenagers see violence as 'fun' and without consequence. It's easy to blame the parents, but it's hard to monitor what is on the TV all day, every day. There is a joint responsibility for parents and the media to ensure children are not exposed to such violence. Otherwise the consequences are plain for all to see.I, as an adult, can understand the difference between a 'goodfellows beating' and a real gang assault in the street - and more importantly the consequences (one is real the other is acting). However a young person / child who has not actually settled in his / her mind what is reality - and what is fiction - is going to find it incredibly difficult to differentiate between the two. The result? - well take a look at some of the films of attacks used to stop knife crime. These children are acting out scenes from their favourite movies or TV shows on the street.It's even clear from the regret of the perpetrators when the matter comes to court "I don't know what came over me" and "I reacted completely out of context for the incident" etc. are common statements of defence. Lack of realism is the problem, and the next step is the computer game. My partner got very angry when she found her 9 yr old step brother playing GTA on the playstation - his mother didn't even know what the game was about and had allowed him to play if because it 'kept him quiet'. I can assure you 100% that the killer of Rhys Jones did not get the idea to hide weapons around their territory to avoid being caught in posession (but to always be near a weapon) from thin air - it's a feature on GTA.Mugging people from mopeds, beating people in the street for no reason, drive by shootings, gang warfare - all features of the game, and all much more common than ever before.It's not a single game that causes the trouble, but the continued acceptance of violence in our society. You are absolutely correct that a knife isn't dangerous - only the holder of the knife is. However as many kids think being stabbed simply means you 'loose a life' - but can be regenerated (like in most games) - then it's very difficult to explain that there's only 1 life in this game.Still, I suppose this is simply a by-product in the pursuit of money. I don't care as a game manufacturer / TV programme scheduler or newspaper editor about the consequences - as long as we sell more / get more viewers, that's all that matters... Fri 08 Aug 2008 14:03:33 GMT+1 Uncle_Psychosis The common-sense attitude of this article is very refreshing.I normally carry a multi-tool (Leatherman) and went to the trouble of removing the lock from the knife blade - to avoid any potential legal issues. Of course, the knife is still there - but the tool would be of little use without it, since I need to be able to cut stuff (cable, tie-wraps, boxes, string, rope, damaged components, etc.).The tool is used at work all the time, from opening packages, to modifying IT and other office equipment for personal use. I also commute on an old motorbike and regularly use the multi-tool for minor repairs and adjustments. I even use it for bits of repairs when at home and travelling further afield.The tragedy of the current climate is that the multi-tool (not just the knife) is viewed as some sort of super-weapon, rather than as what it is - a tool for adjusting, mending and building things.When I first used the multi-tool at work (to fix the fasteners an anglepoise lamp they were about to throw out), I was looked on like some sort of maniac by a co-worker - who complained about the non-locking (closed) 2 inch knife blade. I responded by asking why she was holding a pair of scissors with 4 inch blades if she was so worried about my tinkering. I agree with most of the other posters on this blog. It is all too easy to simply demonise a whole range of tools and implements because of the irresponsible and criminal behaviour of some individuals and groups. If Mark Easton is concerned about his kitchen drawer, he should have a look my garden shed. Containing such potentially lethal weapons as an old lawnmower blade, a hoe, a set of shears (with 6 inch blades) and a set of sharpened chisels... Fri 08 Aug 2008 12:59:51 GMT+1 a_bit_of_crumpet #4. wearyoflegislation, wrote:"The demonisation of Knives is paralleled by the demonisation of sporting and target shooters. When I was young in the 70s lads with airguns regularly plinked at tincans for fun. noone was inconvenienced and noone felt a heavily armed team of police."When I was young in the 70s the kids with airguns weren't interested in shooting tin cans - the local bird and cat population suffered though and I can remember numerous cases of innocent kids being shot with air guns as they went about their play.Rose-tinted goggles? Fri 08 Aug 2008 11:43:31 GMT+1 brightstrikealight How ironic that several contributors on this page have based their input either on anecdote or the ill-informed and, in many cases, made-up stories in anti-democratic rags to support their own political views rather than provide any meaningful comment.Mark's report is a good example of a concise, yet thought-provoking article of which I'd like to see more rather than the constant scare stories used to general sales/viewing figures. Fri 08 Aug 2008 10:43:42 GMT+1 UKIntel Comment #10 is spot on, however I would go one further as the situation is now in reality much more skewed in favour of the irresponsable person B.The responsible person A is going about his legal business in the street and is unarmed. A is approached by the irresponsable person B who is armed and intent on relieving A of his wallet containing his hard-earned cash. This is required to feed B's drug habit. Person B pulls a knife.Unfortunately for person B, A takes exception to B's criminal behaviour and is morally obliged to decline the invitation to hand over his wallet. Being a fairly well built chap A defends himself using reasonable force and person B suffers hurt feelings and a cracked nail as he is forceably separated from the contents of his cuttlery draw.PC Plod (person pC) arives on scene and decides for some reason that 'a dispute' (you can b***dy say tha again) has occured between person A and person B, whose 'rights' are now for some inexplicable reason equal even though person B is clearlt a knife wielding thug well known to the Police, and person A is just trying to get home from work.A is fingerprinted, DNA tested, and charged with assault. Whilst A is held overnight in the cells, B is released without charge because "it is soceity wot dun it to 'im innit?" and is therefore free to knock over A's house during the small hours to rearm himself from the cuttlery draw and steal A's property to fund his drug habit.The law abiding person A now has a criminal record and looses his job, his house and his wife.Well done pC, UK law and British common sense.--------Whilst this situation is mercifully rare, it has occurred in the past and although laughable when expressed like this, it is unfortunately now a genuine concern for the law abiding. The fact that it is rare is because most people in this situation would actually just hand over their wallet, loose £10 in cash, cancel their cards and not bother to report it (because no-one will be caught anyway and it is not worth the effort having the conversation with the administrator on the front desk of the police station, even if you can find one that is actually open) rather than risk taking a stand, or indeed help anyone else finding themselves in this position.It is this fear of the state by the law abiding which is causing antisocial behaviour in all its forms to spiral because quite simply, the law abiding do not feel able to take action or intervene in any way lest they end up in the cells. Untill this dire situation (or the perception of this situation) is clearly reversed, crime and general disorder will only get worse. Repealling the fatuous Human Rights Act, a European construct with no place in UK law, would be a fantastic start. Fri 08 Aug 2008 09:25:57 GMT+1 erab-UK The problem isn't with knives but the people who use them. I once saw someone rip a beer can in half to attack someone in a pub and it was a much more effective weapon.... anything can be a weapon these days, it's just about whether you ghave the mindset to act in a violent way....and a cash for knives campaign is one of the biggest wastes of money I've ever heard of. If the government even think about it I'm going to Wilkinsons, buying a pack of kitchen knives for about £3 and getting my tax back! Fri 08 Aug 2008 08:35:11 GMT+1 BrightonStevie This post has been Removed Fri 08 Aug 2008 01:30:17 GMT+1 cormont "22", Got your gist,tongue in tooth ! Well said ,red the noos. Sign of the times,Mixing society,reverting backwards,dumbing down. Thu 07 Aug 2008 23:23:12 GMT+1 Martin Herbert All so very true - I have read many news items over the last few weeks about tennagers being stabbed to death. In no case, as far as I am aware, has a knife killed anyone. In every case, there was a person with the intention to kill on the other end of it - a person who could just as easily have used a pointed stick had knives been unavailable. What is the point of 'banning' knives - ah yes, of course - it's to make the politicians look as if they are doing something to alleviate a problem, without the inconvenience of actually having to address its causes. How did we get such spineless morons in charge? Thu 07 Aug 2008 21:13:30 GMT+1 Dave Derrick Excellent article. Makes you realise how silly we are in this country, if we could take a lesson from our european neighbours. Thu 07 Aug 2008 20:30:55 GMT+1 CarrotsneedaQUANGO2 How long before we have move nives from the draws 2 the gun kabinets. Thu 07 Aug 2008 17:24:27 GMT+1 MonkeyBot 5000 This certainly isn't helped by the police either.At the Climate Camp, they claimed that a knife-block with some kitchen knives in it could [i]only[/i] be intended for attacking police horses and dogs.Leaving aside the shear stupidity of trying to claim that a bunch of vegan hippies would attack a horse, The police are accusing every house in Britain of having a stash of dangerous weapons in their kitchen that have no legitimate purpose. Thu 07 Aug 2008 13:57:51 GMT+1 Wherethesunshines Whilst I'm not sure crime (and in particular streetcrime) is actually falling (personally I believe more crime now goes unreported to the authorities than ever before because of a perceived pointlessness in reporting it) I do believe the media have a huge responsibilty towards the increase in peoples fears. Unfortunately the battle for ratings, sales etc is the ultimate decider and the more salacious the news item the better. Slightly off the knife crime topic but who can forget the 1982 headline in the Sun 'GOTCHA' celebrating the the deaths of over 900 people. World War II headlines were never so callous. Howabout the front page pictures of people jumping to their death from the World Trade Center? Why do we need to see it? How would the relatives of those in that desperate situation react to front page pictures like that? In general the media in all its forms appears to have succumbed to its lowest common denominator - sensationalist reporting to rachet up viewing and sales figures. Good news doesn't sell. Amplified bad news does. Unfortunately, we as the market its aimed at, take ultimate responsibility because we can't seem to get enough of it. Thu 07 Aug 2008 11:22:06 GMT+1 CarolineOfBrunswick I was wondering what had happened to knife crime, are all the scrotes in London away on holiday, or is it the journalists?The reductions in violent crime (according to the British Crime Survey) since 1995 were in acquaintance and domenstic violence, rather than stranger violence and muggings (which are fairly static). Being very generous, you could just about make out a case that the media coverage reflects this.Also, there presumably was some detailed reporting of horrific violence and inhumanity in 1945... Thu 07 Aug 2008 11:08:29 GMT+1 UglyJohn Yet again, a journalist uncritically parrots the party line, that crime is falling, without any reference to concerns that those figures may be rigged in a way that would impress Eldrige Gerry. Thu 07 Aug 2008 10:58:53 GMT+1 Draygalore I like your comment: "the vast majority have nothing to fear"How many do have to fear?How many are afraid that they will become a victim simply because the state has taken away their legal (and natural)right to bear arms with which to protect themselves? Wed 06 Aug 2008 22:05:09 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 Mark:A great posting about the celebration of the knife in France! Wed 06 Aug 2008 20:02:15 GMT+1 tacrepus The comparison between the reporting of crimes in 1945 and the 1989 is somewhat misleading. For one thing we should be comparing 1945 and 2008 if it is to have any relevance to today's media and for another the media of the year 1945 didn't have to report the stories of 19 teenagers stabbed to death as has happened in 2008. Whatever the sensationalist style of media reporting it is probably something that will go unnoticed and unread by those who are on the streets carrying weapons. All of those who wish to pontificate on the causes, the effects and the reality of knife crime should spend some considerable time with those who are responsible for, and who are the victims of such events. The safe, cosy, middle class viewpoint expressed from the security of an air conditioned BBC or government office will never get remotely close to understanding this phenomenon. Wed 06 Aug 2008 18:04:08 GMT+1 stanilic A lot of the problem with knife and gun crime is that most of it could be prevented if the law established was properly implemented and supervised. New laws are not required: all we need to do is make the existing ones work.The problem is the lack of proactive policing as Mr.Plod sits in his office doing paperwork.It is odd that there is no panic about hammers, axes and screwdrivers - all lethal in the wrong hands. Wed 06 Aug 2008 17:19:27 GMT+1 bolleaux What a shame that your article was spoilt by the statement, "The contents of my kitchen draw (sic) has become an arsenal." Further evidence that educational standards have slipped. Wed 06 Aug 2008 17:08:55 GMT+1 Jandora "The contents of my kitchen draw has become an arsenal. Evil lurks in the cutlery tray."It is really astonishing how many people have "draws" in their houses. Wed 06 Aug 2008 16:44:41 GMT+1 threnodio There seems to me a direct correlation between this thread and Robert Peston's. We are fast approaching the point of media saturation - put simply just too much information too thinly spread amongst competing outlets.The media are in a desperate scramble for revenue which is related directly to performance measures not by the quality of the output but by numbers of consumers. The temptation to boost sales or viewing figures by sensationalising almost everything that comes their way leaves a woeful pattern. People in fear in spite of evidence that they are actually safer, copy cat offending amongst a handful of thugs and a standard of journalism that is in free fall. Wed 06 Aug 2008 16:24:15 GMT+1 Andrew Z Comment #4 - Responsibilities - I wish!!!Person A is a responsible person who can be trusted with a knife (or a gun, or a child, or whatever).Person B is an irresponsible person who cannot be trusted with a knife (or a gun, or a child, or whatever).We are not allowed to discriminate between A and B as this would be an infringement of B's "rights".Therefore, we must treat A in the same way as B and impose any amount of petty restrictions on both of them.And B, being irresponsible, will evade the restrictions imposed to control him/her.While A, being responsible, will try to abide by the restrictions which are not necessary for him/her.A, being responsible, is far easier to police and prosecute than B. A will therefore be more disadvantaged by these restrictions than B.Until we are once again allowed to DISCRIMINATE between A and B, things will go from bad to worse. And no, it's not really that difficult to tell the majority of the As and Bs apart . . . Wed 06 Aug 2008 16:22:25 GMT+1 Guitarzanbikes Ah yes, those innocent growing up days of the the 60's and 70's. I grew up with knives of all sorts including the bonehandled sheath knife - my pride and joy - aged 8! We gleefully fought each other in games simulating WWII battles mostly and slaughtered wildlife with complete abandon, birdsnesting being a particular favorite, blackbirds eggs made great hand grenades! We were called tearaways and hooligans by our elders but we knew the limits. We had a sense of right and wrong and what was "fair game" and what wasn't. You can't compare then with now. I never read about or saw the news back then, it wasn't covered 24/7. I do wonder if part of the perceived "innocence" of those days was the fact that we didn't know what was going on, it wasn't news, news news all the time... wonder what happened to that knife ... swapped for a gat i seem to remember, now for those who don't know, thats a gun! Wed 06 Aug 2008 16:11:55 GMT+1 jon112uk Yes, knives are demonised but handguns, samurai swords and even certain obscure 'ninja' equipment have actually been banned. The bans have followed single incidents - not hundreds/thousands of stabbings every year.An interesting parallel to your French knife example is the Swiss - years of COMPULSORY gun ownership with yearly festivals where the whole village is obliged to turn out to shoot, yet a very low level of armed crime.You're quite right to question whether an obsession with the object rather than the offender is productive. Wed 06 Aug 2008 16:05:44 GMT+1 garesfield gazzalw has got it spot on. As a youngster I lived in an inner city area then moved to a rural one, so I saw both sides. Even in the urban jungle, however, weapons were usually for bravado rather than use on people.The current focus on the knife rather than the person misusing it means we are criminalising what should be considered normal behaviour. Apparently, the little Opinel fruit knife I use to slice apples at lunchtime is now illegal because it has a locking ring (a sensible device to ensure the blade can't fold and injure the user). How utterly ridiculous! Wed 06 Aug 2008 16:01:12 GMT+1 tighey This is one of the best blogs I have come across!I wish the media would revert back to a more straight forward, un-emotional, un-sensational, style of reporting. Alas, I just can't see this happening anytime soon. Wed 06 Aug 2008 16:00:37 GMT+1 tedyeoman Apart from the fact I was a scout I am right with #1,s comments.Thinking about Marks comments later in the article about the role of the media in changing the perception of crime ....Wasn't there an "old school" of journalism thing about the adjective being the enemy of good reortage? Wed 06 Aug 2008 15:53:43 GMT+1 wearyoflegislation The demonisation of Knives is paralleled by the demonisation of sporting and target shooters.When I was young in the 70s lads with airguns regularly plinked at tincans for fun. noone was inconvenienced and noone felt a heavily armed team of police and helicopters was anecessary response to the lads in a field with an airgun. Nowadays if I was to reprise my childhood I would be threatened with firearms by the Police....I also used to carry a swiss army penknife as it was a useful thing for a young boy to have. Now I'd be commiting 'knife crime' by just having it in my pocket.what a sad state this country has reached.The common theme is the items themselves are not violent evil or even dangerous unless mishandled.What is needed is a reinstatement of RESPONSIBILITIES to go with 'your rights'.Return freedom to the individual and make them aware of their responsibilities as well as their rights.Stop this nanny state 'legislation as a silver bullet' nonsense and get real. Wed 06 Aug 2008 15:49:30 GMT+1 mullerman I went to the cheese festival instead .... the BBC news is not unlike The Sun newspaper in its bulletin news shows! Newsnight and Radio 4 redeem it somewhat but the 'public panics' are definitely on the increase, against all the public domain data that explains otherwise! Wed 06 Aug 2008 15:35:57 GMT+1 VinChainSaw Excellent perspective Mark and so very true. Wed 06 Aug 2008 15:25:26 GMT+1 gazzalw When I was a lad growing up in Northumberland in the 70's we all had sheath knives whether we were in the Cubs, Scouts or neither. I was in neither. All they ever were used for were cutting wood to make bows, arrows, spears and swords, making fires, digging and throwing in trees. The knife isn't the problem is if the person carrying it is carrying it so it can be used offensively or if someone is threatening a someone carrying a knife. People are killers not the knife. A knife can either be a tool or a weapon depending on someones attitude. We always hear of 'knife crime' happening in cities and towns, when do you hear of rural knife crime? Villages have children in gangs too but their idea of a 'gang' is a whole world away from someone in a sink estate's idea of what a gang is. Rural gangs are more 'Famous Five/Swallows and Amazons' while city gangs are more 'Grand Theft Auto'. That is the crucial difference. Wed 06 Aug 2008 15:15:12 GMT+1