I had a realisation this morning after seeing the knife crime stats in the news:
Last year 285 people were killed "by knife or other sharp objects" in 2018. This includes all of the youth knife crime, but also includes many other instances. Domestic voilence, robbery or other crime "gone wrong" probably make up a fair shair of these, so outside the public image of "knife crime" that is in the news. There were 21,381 people were cautioned, reprimanded or convicted for carrying a knife in England and Wales.
Compair this to 102 cyclist deaths and 18,477 injured in road.
Yet we see police forces targeting youth knife crime and ignoring road crime. Youth knife crime is in the same reigion as cyclist deaths. All incidents of carrying knives are in the same order as cyclists injured on the roads. Yet money is being funneled in to stopping knife crime and little is done about road deaths.
I agree that knife crime needs to be taken seriously, but it is frustrating to see how politics impacts our safety. £100million extra is being set aside to tackle knife crime. For 1% of that you could make a huge diffrence to cyclist safety. Send out a PCSO on a bike with a go-pro and then NIP to everyone caught close passing then an awareness course (I am a firm beliver in education first) or 3 points and £100. For £1million across the UK every police force could have 1 PSCO FTE dedicated to this, just cycling around the force area, gathering video for half a day and half a day reviewing and doing hte paperwork.
But road deaths don't hit the headlines. From time to time a cyclist death makes the news, but then it gets forgotten as no one wants to do anything about it. In the case of cyclists the victims are seen as the "other" and the perpetrator "one of us". In the case of knife crime it is the perpetrator (either because of age, race or social group) that is seen as the "other".