Knife crime continues to soar in the UK. And on BBC Question Time on 20 June, incensed audience members let rip at politicians for their failure to deal with the problem while sharing their own harrowing experiences.
A powerful moment
The episode, hosted in Tottenham, consisted of a panel including Conservative MPs Kwasi Kwarteng and Margot James. The panel also included Labour’s Laura Pidcock, Liberal Democrat Ed Davey, and Wetherspoon’s owner Tim Martin.
Things became animated when the following question was discussed:
After listening to the panel’s answers, one audience member gave an impassioned speech on the failure to deal with knife crime:
The woman said she was “scared” as a grandmother to 14 children and reflected on a problem that spans the entire UK.
She also highlighted how knife crime is addressed in Scotland. After all, Scotland has been praised for successfully providing resources for prevention and early intervention measures.
Putting human faces to knife crime stats
But others also had their say on the issue.
One parent in the audience discussed the importance of affordable after-school clubs for working parents:
A younger audience member blamed police cuts for the knife crime problem:
And Labour MP Laura Pidcock said it was a wider issue of austerity:
Question Time viewers reacted on social media and elsewhere.
Ex-professional footballer and anti-racist campaigner John Barnes spoke to one of Question Time‘s audience contributors on BBC Radio 5 Live. He shared with her some of his own views on knife crime and racism in the UK:
Later reflecting on her experience on the show, Pidock suggested that the audience’s input highlighted the wisdom within communities to solve these problems:
These passionate interventions by the Question Time audience remind us that knife crime isn’t a political battle to score points. Instead, it’s about real people’s lives hidden behind news headlines and knife crime stats.
Featured image via Political World – YouTube