Knife Crime Not Just A Police Problem: Expert

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22nd February 2010, 05:05pm - Views: 882

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Knife crime not just a police problem: expert 

RMIT University criminal justice expert Associate Professor Julian Bondy says only

a broad, whole-of-government, multi-agency approach will combat the problem of

knife crime in Victoria.

“Knife crime is not just an issue for police to deal with,” Associate Professor Bondy


“In Victoria, we have increased police search powers and imposed higher penalties

for knife carriage but these measures tend to focus on the end of the process,

where people are already carrying weapons.

“It is vital to look at the bigger picture to understand the reasons why young people

carry knives, so we can respond effectively to this growing problem.

“Research in Australia and the UK into knife carriage and crime has demonstrated

the need to target knife-carriers and violent offenders separately. 

“Britain has successfully tackled this issue with a well-funded multi-agency strategy

that involved not just police, but also ambulance services, GPs, schools and local


“The strategy has worked, with knife-related hospital admissions in previously high

crime areas dropping by 40 per cent.

“This is the kind of partnership model we need for Victoria, where police work

closely with schools, local and national governments, the health sector and

community organisations to tackle the roots of the problem.

“We must invest more in prevention initiatives such as neighbourhood renewal and

community cohesion programs, family intervention projects and youth services. 

“What we have to date is an unbalanced approach focused almost exclusively on

policing and powers instead of prevention.

“If we’re serious about reducing knife crime, we need to go where the evidence

leads us and invest in the kinds of strategies that have proven to be effective.”

Associate Professor Bondy has researched knives and violence in the community

and the reasons why young people in Victoria carry bladed weapons.

He is the co-author of “Living on Edge” (2006), which examined the perceptions,

motivations and experiences of young Victorians regarding the acquisition, carriage

and criminal use of weapons.

For interviews: RMIT University’s Associate Professor Julian Bondy, (03) 9925

2293 or 0411 260 866.

For general media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, Gosia

Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.

22 February, 2010

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