Kid-Mafia, why London’s youth carry knives

Knife attacks and casualties are on the rise. Since the beginning of the year there has been more than 100 murders in London.

The perpetrators are getting younger and so are their victims. With the police overstretched, gang warfare has seemingly taken over the streets of London.

Youth clubs have closed and budget constraints have made it harder for the police to keep the capital’s streets safe.

But why do young people carry knives and turn to gangs? The Voice of London went out to investigate by interviewing an ex-gang member known only as TJ.

TJ used to be in a gang and carried knives everyday wherever he went. Nowadays, Knives are still very easy to get whether from the kitchen or a shop where they may not even check for identification. They are not that expensive either as you can get a knife for as little as £4.50 on Amazon.

See also: VoL investigates the scale of knife crime


Knives like these may look unimpressive but can have devastating effects

The gang that TJ was in used to encourage its members to carry their knives with them as a form of protection and to intimidate rival gang members. There are around 250 gangs in London with roughly 4500 people involved in them. “They now focus on the drug trade mostly dealing cocaine and weed” says TJ. Gangs have even expanded to the Home counties in a bid to grow their networks. 

Words: Mohammed Hamid |Subbing: Harry Lye | Photos: Mohammed Hamid

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