A 15-year-old boy has died after being stabbed in Wolverhampton. He was found with serious injuries after police were called to reports of a disturbance between a group of youths in Merry Hill, Wolverhampton, just after 11 pm on Tuesday night.
A local resident who wished to remain anonymous described the ordeal: “We heard it about 11 pm – to us it was someone breaking into our car, banging and smashing into our car. So we looked out the window quickly to see what was going on” he told the Birmingham Mail.
“My wife called the police straight away. When we looked back out he was sitting up and rolling over. That’s when I went out into the road with him. That’s when we saw a young man lying in the middle of a road, surrounded by blood.
“When I got to him he wasn’t talking or nothing, just mumbling in pain on the floor. We were on the phone to the ambulance saying ‘hurry up, quick as you can, there’s blood everywhere”.
He was taken to hospital where he later died. The relatives of the victim say he was due to start college in Birmingham in September. He had also raised money for charity by having all of his hair cut off for Great Ormond Street Hospital. He was the fourth teenage boy to be fatally stabbed in the past 7 days in England. West Midlands Police said as it launched a murder investigation.
This is yet another example of rising knife crime, which rose by 22% across England and Wales in 2017 – the largest annual increase ever recorded. In parts of England and Wales, knife crime has almost doubled in the past 5 years.
Junior Smart, of youth charity the St Giles Trust, fears the situation could worsen as the school summer holidays approach.
“If there’s no local youth club providing a safe place to meet, where do they go?” he said. “They’re on the street corners, they’re in the takeaways, they’re congregating and that’s where you get trouble”.
Council spending on youth services has fallen by more than £750m since 2010-11 across England and Wales, with the West Midlands and North West hit worst. The West Midlands also has the third highest rate of knife crimes per head out of police officers in England and Wales according to latest figures up to March 2017, behind West Yorkshire and the Metropolitan Police.
England and Wales have also seen a decrease of 21,000 police officers since 2010. The lowest number since comparable record-keeping began.
Comment from John Felipe Murphy
This is yet another tragic story of a young teenager dying needlessly due to knife violence. Reading the story this morning really upset me. The murder occurred close to home and the boy is no older than my younger brother, who’s nearly finishing his GCSE’s with his whole life ahead of him. To see a life ended this prematurely is a true tragedy. My heart goes out to the family of the victim; I really cannot imagine what they are going through right now.
I also hope the individuals responsible for this barbaric crime are brought to justice swiftly so the family may find some closure.
Unfortunately, this is not a lone story. The rise in knife crime is an epidemic sweeping England and Wales affecting areas all across the country. With this being the case we would hope a government which cares about its young people (as it is young people who are the worst affected by knife crime) would act to increase the home offices budget for the police force. We are after all now in a fiscal surplus; surely cuts to the police force should become obsolete?
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Britain’s police budgets is set to lose £700m by 2020. Another estimated 3,000 police officers will lose their jobs, with a total of 24,000 fewer police officers on the streets since 2010, when the Conservatives took power.
Knife crime is a complex issue, but to not accept that taking police off the streets and cutting youth services programs directly affects the number of people who have lost their lives or loved ones, is wrong.