Knife crime is being driven by absent fathers, according to Britain’s top officer on violence.
Jackie Sebire said it was easy to blame drugs, funding cuts or social media for the epidemic in knife crime.
But she insisted that one of the biggest drivers of serious violence was the lack of a father figure at home.
Jackie Sebire said it was easy to blame drugs, funding cuts or social media for the epidemic in knife crime. But she insisted that one of the biggest drivers of serious violence was the lack of a father figure at home. She is pictured above on 24 Hours In Police Custody
‘It’s not only about public services, it’s absent fathers, absent capable guardians in the community, it’s lack of role models,’ said the Assistant Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police.
‘I don’t think we talk enough about those drivers around serious violence because it is easier to talk about drugs and social media. They do play a part, don’t get me wrong. But it’s not as simple as that.
‘I’m not just saying fathers but it’s male role models in the community, and where you do have positive male role models, they are potentially the drug dealers, or the exploiters, or the organised criminal networks, they become the positive male role model,’ she added.
‘We talk about the stereotype absent father whether they’re physically absent – or too busy working every hour God sends.
Knife crime rose 7 per cent last year to a record 45,000 offences. A study by the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield found that up to 27,000 children identified as being gang members and over 300,000 know one
‘And actually children in those more affluent areas are left to their own devices as well. Fathers can be physically present but absent in the child’s life.’
Dr Sebire was speaking yesterday at the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners summit this week. She is the lead on serious violence for the NPCC.
She said: ‘Positive male role models are a protective factor – we are understanding the importance of that positive male role model in young people’s lives.’
Dr Sebire said some parents even failed to collect their children at police stations.
‘The worst thing is when mum and dad won’t come, or actually they’re too busy to come,’ she said.
‘That’s the saddest thing that I see when they have no care – whether it’s mum or dad, and we have to get the appropriate adult services because they can’t be bothered.’