Knife Crime - Mo Jannah Busts The Myths [Radio Wales]

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Mo Jannah is on a mission to shatter the myths that surround knife crime

Mo Jannah is on a mission to shatter the myths that surround knife crime.

An increase in knife attacks in Wales, and reports of vulnerable young people being lured into drugs gangs and knife-carrying, resulted in an explosion of public anxiety. But has this led to the creation of myths about knife crime? Mo explores how news reporting focusses on black youth, gangs and drugs, and challenges the myth that knife crime occurs mainly in ethnic minority communities.

Mo’s journey also seeks out the far less publicised yet more common forms of knife crime. A decade ago, a quiet street in Barry was the scene of a fatal stabbing involving two white men. Mo meets the daughter of the victim, Aaisha Jones, who was 16 when her father was murdered. To this day, Aaisha struggles to come to terms with what happened. "He was my Dad’s friend. How could he kill my dad?" Now, a decade on, she faces the trauma all over again, as her 3-year-old daughter asks Aaisha why she doesn’t have a daddy.

Mo asks if knife crime is a modern-day problem. He meets local historian Nic Hodges, who explains how, 150 years ago, almost every man in Victorian Barry and every other port carried knives. We have all heard of the Peaky Blinders gang, but Barry was plagued by the High Rip Gang, so-called because they would slice their victim’s throats from ear to ear. They came from London to run prostitution and extortion rackets in South Wales. Nic has a theory, that one of Britain’s most notorious killers, Jack the Ripper, ended up in Barry.

Reports say that knife crime in England and Wales increased to a new record high, up by 7% on the previous year. Mo meets leading criminologist Marian Fitzgerald, whose research suggests these figures don’t accurately reflect the reality of knife crime.