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Inside this week's ES Magazine: Knife Crime Report

 (ES Magazine)
(ES Magazine)

As Londoners, knife crime is all of our problem. Small, casual moments of horrific violence send shock waves through our city daily. Overnight pop-up shrines and cordoned-off crime scenes appear, signifiers of lives cruelly ended and forever changed. Knife crime is a crisis we need to get to grips with urgently.

But how? The reasons for these tragic events are complex, myriad and, ultimately, embedded in poverty. Knife crime statistics are alarming and also confusing with the Mayor and the Government interpreting the numbers differently. Where do we start with such a nebulous yet deeply embedded problem? Listening seems as good a place as any.

Away from the soundbites and alarmist rhetoric we wanted to give space for real, honest stories told by those personally involved in this epidemic. In our Knife Crime Report, we bring together four voices with four perspectives: Jessica Plummer talks of the agonising loss of her 17-year-old son, Shaquan; Martin Griffiths, lead surgeon in the Royal London Hospital’s trauma unit, gives a frank account from the front line; we hear from PC Graeme Halleron, a schools’ officer for the Met Police, on his crusade to educate children; and ‘Jacob’ remembers the snap decisions that first made him reach for a knife.

I’m incredibly proud to present this special ES project but it would not have been possible without the tenacious wrangling of Jessica Landon, our deputy art director, who single-handedly made it happen. Thank you also to Lily Bertrand-Webb, Ed Spreull, Emma Loffhagen and especially to all the interviewees for their trust and bravery.