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Knife crime offender characteristics and interventions – A systematic review  

Published onAug 07, 2022
Knife crime offender characteristics and interventions – A systematic review  
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Knife crime offender characteristics and interventions – A systematic review
Description

Knives and sharp objects are tools used in a wide range of violent offences. However, knife offending may have different risk factors than general violence, thus requiring tailored interventions. This systematic review aims to synthesise evidence on the characteristics of knife offenders and interventions aimed at the reduction of knife crime. After screening 1352 titles and abstracts, 344 articles were fully considered of which 21 papers met the inclusion criteria and were quality assessed. These consisted of 15 offender characteristic studies and six intervention studies. Findings suggested that knife crime may be associated with illicit drug use, exposure to any violence as a witness, victim or perpetrator and mental health problems. Males were more at risk of engaging in knife crime in the community and females in domestic settings. Different risk factors were found between gang involved and non-involved knife offenders. Primary prevention strategies, such as stop and search, knife amnesties, media campaigns and curfews did not show a significant impact in reducing knife crime. By contrast, increasing offenders' access to tailored support regarding housing, education, and employment showed an impact in reducing weapon carrying. Further research is required in the area to support the reliability of outcomes.

 

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