Sputnik: This year is on course to be the worst in 10 years for numbers of young people in England and Wales killed in knife attacks. With 37 children and teenagers stabbed to death so far, continuing a five-year upward trend how significant are these numbers and what does it mean for the government?
Awez Khan: With these numbers, it's clearly showing that knife crime and youth violence, in general, is increasing at an exponential rate; this year is already set to be one of the highest and we've still got 5 weeks left. It's kind of showing how the government have got to put some kind of action plan in for the police or some sort of public health campaign, so that these numbers do not continue to rise over the next few years and hopefully by the time we reach 2020 onwards, knife crime will be decreasing at the same rate it was rising.
Sputnik: Ok and what are the main factors that are responsible for the rise in these terrible numbers?
Awez Khan: It ranges from different situations — if that makes sense. I know a lot of my mates parents don't work or have some sort of mental health issue which automatically puts the pressure and the idea of them being involved with that, making money, being the income of the family automatically and don't see no other way of doing it.
They automatically return to a life of crime and try to make some money with drugs or with gangs. Another main reason is that a lot of these people are given areas of opportunity or go to school where they have opportunity automatically and because of that they kind of see the only opportunity they really have is not through education but doing crimes, doing drugs, being part of gangs. These people are making more money than people going through education and going in debt.
Sputnik: What should we be seeing from the government to ensure these numbers do not continue to rise and that our young are protected from gang culture?
Awez Khan: Well the main thing I was saying was the public health push that they're putting that Glasgow did 10 years back. That kind of idea, that kind of ideology about tackling the root causes instead of going for the people involved right now; if you tackle the root causes so the lack of opportunity, education and poverty the numbers have dropped incredibly low.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.