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Recreational Drug use fueling knife crime

(31 Posts)
TerriBull Tue 05-Mar-19 12:25:07

I believe Cressida Dick was on Nick Ferrari's radio programme this morning to discuss the escalation in knife crime, although I didn't actually hear it. Not discounting the fact that we clearly need more police to deal with these horrendous crimes, I can't help agreeing with her point that middle class recreational drug users have blood on their hands and are fueling the escalation of knife crime and the highly pernicious and worrying problem of "county lines", where a staggering number of youngsters are being recruited as drug mules to transport drugs into rural areas.

I have heard, like the Rotheram girls before them, when these young people are admitted to hospital with stab wounds there is very little help offered in helping them extricate themselves from the situation they have become involved in, some of them are very young indeed. Not only should something be done about that but I would also like to see a campaign aimed at recreational drug users, (those who do it for fun, from festival goes to dinner party guests) to raise their awareness that they are complicit in the violence that is being inflicted on an awful lot of hapless victims just to facilitate their selfish recreational habit.

Lily65 Tue 05-Mar-19 12:30:33

What an awful and complex problem. What on earth is going so badly wrong?

I am not making a political point here but I think youth services played an absolutely vital and often unseen and undervalued role. Education has become a straight jacket and young people need somewhere to congregate and just be young people.

TerriBull Tue 05-Mar-19 12:48:24

It's absolutely a complex problem, I'm not going to argue with anyone who says we need more police. I think in some ways, young people now have a far worse time than previous generations and more to fear. I certainly remember my kids hanging round parks mid teens, like the unfortunate young Jodie, it was a rite of passage and it was where they went to socialise, too young and not enough money for pubs etc. It seems to be a sad fact that kids aren't safe at school, or should I say beyond the school gates where some of the "recruiting" seems to take place. I do worry for my grandchildren, still quite young at the moment. I think something drastic action needs to be taken regarding the ever growing problem which is "county lines" it's already out of control.

TerriBull Tue 05-Mar-19 12:49:13

some not something

GrannyGravy13 Tue 05-Mar-19 12:58:54

I totally agree with the fact that middle aged recreational drug users, who think there is nothing wrong with an occasional joint or line of cocaine have blood on their hands.

I am totally against drug use, but having listened to debates on the legalisation of drugs at least it would take out the gangs. Hopefully there would be less deaths as the contents of the drugs could be monitored.

Lily65 Tue 05-Mar-19 13:15:39

Going back to the youth club thing, my son attended one for years. He wasn't into sport and didn't really fit in with "typical male" activities. The club was brilliant and was in an area facing challenges. One of the main aims was to engage young people and prevent crime, including knife/gun crime. It served a very broad range of young people and they were enthused by so many brilliant activities,mostly Arts based.

It has closed down. The area is bleak, problems are on the up. So short sighted.

sunseeker Tue 05-Mar-19 13:18:54

I agree drug use, by anyone, contributes to crime, but I also wonder whether the glamourisation of the gangster culture by rappers and social media are also a factor. How often do we see pictures of wannabe celebrities wearing hoodies and pointing guns. Young people see this as "cool" and not being able to obtain guns, use knives instead.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 05-Mar-19 13:32:42

I can't understand why people take drugs in the first place. Are drug-users risk-takers? Is it glamorous? My generation barely took drugs, Now I read that people sniff laughing gas for a 'kick.'
The break-down of families where youngsters join a gang must be a very bad influence. I was brought up quite strictly - I wasn't allowed out just to 'hang about' - I had to be going somewhere and tell mum where I was going and was expected back at a certain time. Sadly, I can't see things getting any better.

NanaandGrampy Tue 05-Mar-19 14:02:14

I agree this is a complex issue and I think there is more than one reason behind the spike.

Lack of parental control is one , my Mum terrified me ?, I would no more have gotten into trouble than flown without wings ! I wouldn’t say my daughters were ever terrified of me but I knew where they were , and who with. I knew their friends and there were rules they followed. Nowadays this seems to be fairly lacking with parents having no idea where their teenagers are or what they’re doing.

The youngesters themselves have respect for little and certainly no fear. So you cram a lot of single parent families in a high rise area, there is a lack of parental control and nothing for them to do - so they group together , form gangs and lurch from one disaster to another.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that it’s all inner city kids, or all single parents but there must be some correlation between the increase in single parent families and knife/ gang crime?

I watched a programme recently where the initiation to join the gang for a girl was gang rape and for a boy to stab someone or worse.....what sort of world is this??

TerriBull Tue 05-Mar-19 15:12:22

To be fair, once a "courier" find themself sucked in, I imagine they are far more terrified of the gangmasters than they ever could be of their parents. In fact I think they can be frightened on their parents and other members of their family's behalf, the threats, from what's reported are dire. I perceive the grooming to be insidious and can happen around the school gates. As far as "country lines" grooming is concerned it doesn't necessarily pertain to any one demographic, in fact middle class kids from regular backgrounds, for want of a better description have been targeted on the basis that they will not be on the Police radar.

SueDonim Tue 05-Mar-19 16:25:21

A very good book that explains the link between drugs and crime is Good Cop, Bad War by Neil Woods. He was in an undercover anti-drugs squad but came to realise that the war on drugs can never be won. He now promotes Portugal's approach to the issue, which decriminalises some drugs and has greatly reduced the harm to society from illegal drugs.

Of course, more police would help, too!

notanan2 Tue 05-Mar-19 16:46:33

Absolutely, upper middle class drug use is not only accepted but seen as part and parcel of glamourous life styles

It is directly funding misery at home and abroad.

Ask any taxi driver, they see the DIRECT connection between the leafy suburbs and inner city crime all the time!

TerriBull Tue 05-Mar-19 17:03:07

Sue Donin, I can understand the rationale in decriminalising drugs and in many ways I can see that would be some sort of solution. On the other hand psychiatrists and other medics will also point out that mental health, in particular schizophrenia, is being exacerbated by cannabis use because of how its grown these days.

notanan you are right, "not only is it accepted but seen as part and parcel of glamorous life styles" There needs to be more of an awareness between that, and the misery it causes.

notanan2 Tue 05-Mar-19 17:21:51

& Ive just been reading about how widespread cannabis use (especially in older demographics, with the "soft" "acceptable" drug use increasing risk taking behaviour when it comes to sexual health) is thought to be at least partially responsible for the new spike in HIV transmission so legalisation of "softer" drugs doesn't necessarily result in a safer utopia.

The harm drugs do isn't just down to the criminality of them although that is a major factor

notanan2 Tue 05-Mar-19 17:23:29

Drug use being a "social norm" is a big issue which legalisation would not only not solve, but potentially increase.

SueDonim Tue 05-Mar-19 17:33:01

Terribull I think that's part of the argument for decriminalising drugs. The grade of the drug would be closely monitored and standardised so you'd know what was in it. It would also be taken under supervision so bad side effects could be spotted quickly.

I don't know exactly how it works, but I don't think you could just rock up at a centre and ask to try out some cannabis or anything like that. The rate of drug use is Portugal hasn't gone up since they began this initiative and fewer people are moving on to harder drugs. The biggest benefit has been that crime rates have fallen.

EllanVannin Tue 05-Mar-19 18:50:35

Well they've all but de-criminalised cigarettes so why not drugs ? It doesn't make a scrap of sense to me that two volatile products drugs and alcohol can so freely be taken yet smokers end up being the pariahs of society ? Cigarettes are only a danger to the smoker-----no-one else !!

We know only too well the damage being done through drug abuse and we also know of the problems socially that too much alcohol causes. Both products act on the brain and create depressions and psychosis.
Where's the Health Minister in all this giving his sermons on the danger of drugs ??

EllanVannin Tue 05-Mar-19 18:51:49

That should read Criminalised ! Not de-criminalised (rolls eyes )

GrannyGravy13 Tue 05-Mar-19 18:53:49

EV the statistics are that alcohol causes more problems than substance abuse (drugs)

I do not cut and paste but there are a lot of papers/ articles out there to this effect.

notanan2 Tue 05-Mar-19 19:00:06

I think that is changing though as drinking falls out of social acceptance and drugs increase in social acceptance.

Certainly in my local paper's courthouse round ups there seem to be way more driving under influence of drugs than drunk driving cases whereas back when drinking was more of the social norm most of the DUIs were for alcohol

notanan2 Tue 05-Mar-19 19:01:09

Wet lunches are no longer the done thing at work, but using drugs to improve performance is widespread...

M0nica Tue 05-Mar-19 19:04:12

Do you think decriminalising theft would make the world a better place?

To have as the answer to an intractable problem to just do something that means that you can ignore it is a complete abrogation of responsibility by those who should be imposing the law.

To say, as some do, that cigarettes and alcohol are legal so why not drugs, is ridiculous. Both these substances have been legal for hundreds, and in the case of alcohol for thousands of years and we only need to see the harm they cause to know that decriminalising drugs would just replace one set of problems with another. Anyway in the case of cigarettes, there are constant warnings and help for smokers to help them give up smoking and the number of people now smoking is a fraction of what it was 40 and 50 years ago. This shows that if the various authorities make a decision to reduce a plague like smoking, they can do it.

Regular drug takers are far more likely to suffer from schizophrenia and some paranoid mental conditions and depression. I think most of us know at least one person whose mental capacity has clearly been affected by regular drug taking, even though they may now be clean.

SueDonim Tue 05-Mar-19 19:41:44

Surely we all know what happened when America banned alcohol? It led to an upsurge in crime and the law had to be changed to make it possible for people to drink legally. It also meant alcohol could be taxed and regulated.

It's nearly 50 years since President Nixon declared his War On Drugs. In that time nothing has been achieved in terms of stopping drug-taking, in fact it's far more prevalent that ever.

GabriellaG54 Tue 05-Mar-19 23:14:48

I beg to differ.
Passive smoking is as bad as actually puffing yourself.

GabriellaG54 Tue 05-Mar-19 23:16:27

Unless you have walked the walk you cannot, with any authority, talk the talk.