By Aliyah Butt
Knife crime has risen by 9% since 2019 and continues to reach the rise. The Committee and several music artists over the year have tried to raise awareness of knife crime
The Youth Select Committee is an organisation that focuses on reducing knife crime, an other issues that some believe government are not dealing with appropriately. They suggest that “harsher prison sentences and constant stop and searches will not prevent knife crime” from happening.
Kojo Kankam, perhaps better known by his alias Novelist, was stabbed at the age of 13. The stabbing left the now Mercury Prize-nominated MC and BBC Radio 1Xtra resident with a punctured lung.
Unsure which action to take next, his mum, Dee, told him to “pick your lane”. Forcing him to choose whether he wanted to be violent or become a positive role model in society changed his life’s trajectory. He stated that his life could’ve been different “if I decided to act on how I felt at the time”. Thanking his mother for the positive influence she had on him she is now his manager, too.
He states: “I did need that influence to show me that I have a choice,” he said. “A lot of people feel like they don’t have a choice.”
In a lot of his interviews, speaks about valuing life. He raises awareness about black people being killed and the aftermath of knife crime. His 2018 track “Stop Killing the Mandem”, focuses on defying statistics surrounding black youth crime and instead fostering a sense of unity in this often-underrepresented community.
Both the Youth Select Committee and Artists like Novelist are examples of how groups or individuals are trying to understand the root of knife crime and how to decrease the percentage.