No Knife is a Better Life!

No Knife is a Better Life

Youth today are in a crisis,

Whilst knife crime grips the nation as it rises.

Austerity and poverty can be a factor,

Kids feel the brunt of the government’s measures from every public sector.

Scarcity of youth clubs, communities are dying,

But don’t blame the teachers; they are really trying.

Resources are stretched to an all time low, funding cuts - no one cares.

So of course support is no where there.

Home is no sanctuary, merely just a shelter.

Parents are trying to get it together,

Sinking deeper to more stress and pressure.

Kids are neglected, disillusioned or forgotten,

It’s probably why their brains get so rotten.

A sense of belonging is what they seek,

Perhaps a little love and attention could’ve kept them off the streets.

Easy prey for criminal gang members,

Profiting from their pain and anger

Peddling drugs in exchange for goods,

But their success rate for life is just going backwards.

Misguided and blinded by that bling,

Pride and status is not them things!

Surround yourself with silly fools,

Ain’t so cool if you were slain by their tools.

Escorted to prison is no joke!

1000 wounded last year did you know? On top of those killings we already know.

It rips the hearts of the victim’s families, in a cycle of a never ending carnage.

Mentality needs to change, if we want this fear to go away.

Government needs to listen, to know what’s missing.

Support parents and kids for those most at risk.

Drugs is the currency for all this misery,

So remove hard sellers and go harsh on those buyers

Ain’t so easy battling this fight, when police numbers aren’t quite right.

Youth club initiatives is more what we need.

Raise more opportunities to get them off the streets.

So crime won’t be on their radars of possibilities.

Academic level they fail to meet, kid’s will end up on the streets.

If teachers don’t engage, the students will end up enraged.

Unblock their potential, to obtain their credential,

Kids have other talents; sports, theatre or music could be more their level.

A positive voice, loud and clear.

Instil their minds as early as one, two or three.

Set high values to believe they can achieve and beyond their dreams.

Parents, teachers, friends and family also have to preach,

Education you see, the key to all their possibilities.

Role models like Sephton, use to be a gang member,

Teaches the virtues of a normal life to remember.

Listen to their issues, hear their plight.

Knowledge is power to beat this cycle of knife gripe.

A brighter future can be gained,

Communities must come together, if we want this change

Message of hope and I will tell you so,

Violent crime is not the life.

No Knife is a Better Life!

Comments (13)

  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 15 Feb 2019

    This is a fantastic poem. You've followed the success criteria excellently and included reasons and some solutions in your poem too. Well done.

    How did you find writing the poem? What research went into it and how has the process impacted on your opinion?

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg affable_weaver
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 16 Feb 2019

    Although you may say 'No knife is a better life', knives not only take lives, but save lives too. Although the ratio of deaths to saves is 7:1 (Center For Crime and Justice Studies), that is still a life saved by a knife.

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg great_duck
    Boutcher C of E Primary School 16 Feb 2019

    That is a very interesting view on knives and violent crime. How can you be sure that telling people their issues will get young people off the streets? Is their any evidence of this?

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 17 Feb 2019

    Hi Tiff!

    Thank you ever so much for your comment! I enjoyed writing this poem although it did make me feel really sad as it made me think about all the negative points about knife crime. Most of us young people don’t really have a true idea of some of the difficulties and hardships that some families, who are affected by knife crime, face. Kids must be very unhappy in the first place to fall into a life of crime, if they were given a choice, I really don’t think they would purposely choose that kind of life.

    In terms of writing the poem, I took the advise and followed the guidance of Olivia’s top tips. Honestly, it took me quite a long time to write, drafting it over and over again. I tried to include as many relevant points as possible based on what I’ve learnt, alongside views of other BNC members’ posts and comments and of course Asma’s poem helped me tremendously.

    I also had the fortunate opportunity of listening to the LBC radio show discussing knife crime over the last weekend which really helped me form my poem. One important statistic which really struck me was ‘1000 teenagers were hospitalised in 2018, up by 55% on previous year from knife crime’. It is shocking to hear that kids as young as 10 are part of these knife attacks. I thought it was an important fact to put in the poem because normally we only hear of reported deaths but very rarely the ones that are wounded.

    Listening to different callers coming from community leaders, family members, the police and even MP’s ,who all had their say on the issue of knife crime, helped give me deeper insights to the problem. Some had reasons, some had tragic stories to tell and some had solutions. They also highlighted another major issue that I wasn’t even aware before, that middle class drug users ‘were greatly responsible in the surge of violent crime.’ because different gangs have turf wars, attacking each other over postcode areas to sell illegal drugs to ‘white middle classes’. This wealthy class of people buy large quantities of illegal drugs creating a perfect market for organised gangs and that is how they can fund themselves so easily. So going forward, I researched and found this article from the Guardian, ‘Blame middle class for drug-related violence, says police leader’ which seemed to support what was said and discussed. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/22/middle-class-bear-blame-for-drug-related-violence-says-police-leader

    But the over riding cause I kept hearing from the general public was poverty and austerity, which were most to blame for the rise in violent crime. And, a lot of anger was directed to Theresa May.

    My poem also drew a reference to my own upbringing and personal views of knowing people who don’t have a lot or those that are unhappy, but never succumb to violent crime. I feel strongly that having good values set at an early age from parents or any family members is an important factor for reducing the chance of getting into any kinds of crime, regardless of life’s ups and downs. If parents encouraged education as a path to a better life, instil a strong mindset, so as not to be easily influenced by peer pressures and instil higher values that have less emphasis on material goods, then kids would have a much better chance of steering away from crime. If good values can’t be taught by parents due to neglect or for whatever reasons, then I believe schools could also be the ones to provide that guidance.

    I understand peer pressure is hard to overcome because being young we just want to fit in. I can also understand young kids appreciating nice things as well but at what cost? Some Kids can be easily lured by gifts given by gang leaders and then they get trapped into a cycle of criminal activities. Kids succumb to peer pressures and then are misguided to think having designer clothing, nice phones or being part of a gang is what gives them real status and happiness. It is much, much harder for our generation because we are constantly exposed to so many, and perhaps, ‘wrong’ role models and influencers on social media. This is why I think more youth clubs or sports clubs and community clubs come in and fill in that void and provide guidance for kids that are neglected at home. They would be given exposure to good role models and better peer groups as well as support and attention that they may not have at home. However, for this to happen, it would require quite a lot of government funding. But whether the government agrees is another matter.

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  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC 18 Feb 2019

    Hi creative_sparrow,

    It sounds like the radio show really helped you to think about different points of view. Being open-minded and considering different perspectives on an issue is really important to make sure we have the whole picture before we make our minds up. That's why it's one of the BNC's key skills.

    You say that more youth clubs/sport clubs would guide young people, but also say that government funding is an issue. What would you say to the government to convince them to increase funding for these things?

    affable_weaver and great_duck have also asked you some questions you may want to respond to.

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 19 Feb 2019 in reply to affable_weaver's comment

    Hi affable_weaver

    Very interesting how you looked at the title in different way! I’m not sure what you mean though, can you explain further on how a knife saves a life in the context of knife crime? Just curious :)

    No Knife is a Better Life, the credit of this title should go to one of BNC links I found in reply to a comment about youth clubs, the website called No Knives, Better Lives. It’s all about ways to help tackle knife crime and to help young people, parents and practitioners.

    https://noknivesbetterlives.com/

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 19 Feb 2019 in reply to great_duck's comment

    Hi Great_Duck

    The line in the Poem ‘Listen to their issues, hear their plight’ was actually one of the comments I picked up from a community youth leader. He rehabilitates a lot of ex-criminal gang members and it’s one of his many pieces of advice to tackle knife crime. I believe he was saying that it’s important to have an open discussion with young people, try and understand why and what are the underlying cause for kids going into crime. If we don’t know, how can we prevent it from happening and find ways to resolve it?

    Unfortunately I don’t have any evidence or statistics to say it will get kids of the streets. However, if we listen to Sephton, he is actually educating us all that being part of a gang is certainly no way to live a life. We get to hear his story and the awful things that goes on behind those headlines, all because he wants to deter kids getting into gangs. I get the feeling that most people don’t care about knife crime because it doesn’t affect them directly, they become numb to the news and the numbers become meaningless. However, if we listen to victim’s family of knife crime and then we also hear victims family of drug abuse, we can fully see the connection of drugs and gang violence, adds to a much wider problem in our society. Gangs peddling drugs (and knife crime) affects a lot more people than we actually think. I hope this explains my poem!

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  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg creative_sparrow
    The Ruth Gorse Academy 20 Feb 2019 in reply to Tiff @ the BNC's comment

    Hi Tiff!

    I think the only way to convince the government for more funding is with hard evidence by seeing a positive data result such as more youth clubs = decrease in youth violent crime. I myself cannot be 100% sure that it will reduce crime significantly because I think other factors such as tackling poverty is a big factor to the overall problem of youth crime.

    However, I still think opening up more youth clubs is still a good idea as long as it is done well. I would suggest smaller funding for a smaller pilot scheme but in the worse area affected by youth crime. It will have a collection of the best experts such as community leaders, ex gang members that kids can relate to, counsellors and social workers. Get to know what kids really like to do, tail it to their needs and aspirations and open up clubs that will really engage them rather than clubs such as scouts, sea cadets etc.

    I feel you need to attract the best inspirational trainers, coaches, teachers etc. to enable kids to reach their full potential and guide them to be the best at what they can do especially with sports, otherwise if you don’t support them all the way through, then they will think it’s pointless and kids will become disheartened. It is annoying with clubs when you want to go beyond a certain level but there is nowhere to go or the options are very limited or further away. It’s very frustrating, and plus, good clubs nowadays are very expensive, so they are a struggle for lower income families.

    Furthermore, opening up more youth clubs creates more job opportunities, especially as we are entering into an era of automation into our work force and certain jobs will go in the near future, apart from jobs that will still require human interaction, counsellors, teachers, trainers, physiotherapists etc.

    If more youth clubs works, then the government could think to scale it up to other parts of the country.

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  • Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC 20 Feb 2019 in reply to creative_sparrow's comment

    You have given great reasons for your argument, well done. I think your final point is especially poignant about opportunity and automation. Well done for making this link, as it is forward looking and solution-focused.

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  • John-Ruskin-logo-250x250.jpg funny_mango
    John Ruskin 01 Apr 2019

    This is very true and I strongly agree. Also violent crime is becoming a major problem with the whole world. Knives can kill people but can also save lives. In my opinion it is best to stop carrying knives. Now they are mostly used take away lives and t u is is very depressing as most people don't have lives because of knives.

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  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg altruistic_grasshopper
    Morley Newlands Academy 23 May 2019

    You really described your argument well. I agree.

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