Sunday, July 13, 2008

Question ...

Read any of the papers today and it would seem as if the U.K. is currently undergoing an epidemic of violence.

According to the British Crime Survey, knives were involved in 169,000 violent incidents in 2005 causing somewhere between 22,000 and 60,000 injuries and resulting in 235 deaths.

I'd just like to note that in 2005, there were also 198,700 incidents involving cars resulting in 25,000 serious injuries and 3,200 deaths including 3,500 children who were either seriously harmed or killed.

Obviously people don't intend to harm someone else when they drive a car, however some people also argue that they only carry knives for protection. Regardless of how misguided such reasoning is, there is a question of intent. Hence, I am curious as to whether drink is a significant factor in both knife and car crime.

The reason I mention this is that David Cameron has recently spoken about how anyone convicted of carrying a knife should be jailed despite the widespread nature of this activity. This raises a question. If people are automatically jailed for carrying a knife when they don't intend to cause harm, should we not also automatically jail people for drink driving despite their not intending to cause harm?

I'd like to know what the figures are - am I more at risk from a pissed up city worker driving an SUV after some long lunch, or from a hoodie with a knife?