In 2018 it was estimated to cost £3,270,740. for every murder committed in England and Wales. In 2015/16, there were 577 homicides in England and Wales costing the government a staggering £1.8bn.
This amount does not include, money spent on various initiatives to tackle violent crime, the cost for the different departments across the country staffed with people working on Violence Reduction, and the unpaid heroes who continue to work to distract our most vulnerable, the young person, from violent crime.
In the year ending March 2021, there were 594 homicides in England and Wales. These include deaths resulting from sharp instruments, serious assaults, and shootings.
If we spent more on crime prevention, this should without a doubt, reduce the cost of crime to the government and thus the taxpayer.
What is the cost-benefit of crime prevention?
Let’s take for example homicide as a result of a sharp instrument including knives. In the year ending March 2021, there were 235 homicides recorded using sharp objects, including knives and broken bottles in England and Wales.
Within the Metropolitan police area only;
In the period from 01/01/2021- 31/12/21, there were 30 homicides involving victims between the ages of 13-19. 109 young people ranging from ages 13- 19 were taken to court for the offence of murder. An astounding 92 children of school age are included in this group.
If we do the mathematics using the 2018 cost per homicide; the homicide of 30 young victims would have cost the government. £96,532,209. This number would reduce slightly if all 92 children were not convicted. The loss of life through homicide is devastating and one can argue the loss of liberty through incarceration of a young person, is devastating too.
Education, Education, Education
This is why an investment in education programmes with preventative content needs to be written into the curriculum. This content should be delivered by teachers who are experts in their subjects. Visiting speakers have their value, but teachers must own the progression and progress of every student on the content delivered.
An example of some of the suggested curricula changes are as follows;
Science: The Science curriculum is an ideal area to teach young people about the human body, its vulnerabilities and the ease in which a catastrophic bleed can occur.
Citizenship: The rule of law with honest teaching about the consequences of violent crime, drug possession and drug trafficking, assaults against women and girls and anti-social behaviour. I would also suggest schools should teach children about the impact all crimes have on their victims.
English: understanding race and racism through literature. This will reinvigorate the love of reading for many students as they are able to form links with the culture-related content on offer.
History: teaching about extremism and its origins. The history of all people, their discoveries and their failings, including how their history has impacted society today.
PSHCE: We need to teach young people how to win in the game of life. ©WITGOL. A Passion Project Foundation Scheme was piloted successfully in a number of schools in the UK.
Every subject can be modified to reflect what children and young people need to know in a 21st-century society. Education should be the vehicle for change, understanding, knowledge, enlightenment and truth.
Only then, once we have equipped our young people with this knowledge and values, are we able to bring about change in behaviours. We will then begin to see the real cost-benefit of prevention education.
Every child should be able to grow and live in a society where they feel safe and loved.
©IFG Publishing 2022