Does knife crime have anything to do with drugs markets?

Here is a Twitter thread I published recently on the non-existent link between knife crime and drugs markets. 

According to an article in the Sun (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8362041/london-stabbing-prince-georges-battersea-school-teen-death/), ‘Knife crime and shootings are on the rise fuelled by gang rivalry and disputes over drug markets.’ It’s an appealing theory, but is it accurate? I don’t think so…

Let’s start with the 27 stabbings that have occurred in London so far this year: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8104412/london-stabbings-2019-latest-knife-crime-statistics-attacks-knife-death-euston/

The words ‘drug(s)’ and ‘gang(s)’ appear in these stories in two forms: in the sentence cited in the previous tweet; and in quotes dismissing the victim’s involvement therein.

There might well be gang rivalry, but are they fighting over ‘drug markets’? No evidence is given. Whatever the fact of the matter, you might say that in these cases it’s too early to tell. It might well be, so I looked at the homicides in London in 2018, all 132 of them.

Here again, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46128268, there is little evidence to support the theory that if drugs were legal most, or at least some, of these killings would not have occurred. Well over half of these stories patently have nothing to do with gangs seeking to control a drugs market.

A few examples:

  • Alleged manslaughter of an infant boy;
  • Man killing his ex;
  • Husband killing his wife;
  • Wife killing her husband;
  • Drunk woman killing her friend with a pair of scissors;
  • Russian businessman strangled in his home;
  • Man killing a transgender woman.

And so on.

In one of the few cases in which drugs are actually mentioned, a cannabis dealer ‘was stabbed to death by three teenagers because he refused to hand back a phone dropped by one of them during a failed mugging days earlier, a court heard’: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/drug-dealer-stabbed-death-teens-13929028

In another, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-46485714, a 20-year-old boy was stabbed to death by his 16-year-old cannabis dealer during a transaction that was not the first of its kind between the two. Both went to the rendezvous armed with knives, but the cause of the dispute is unknown.

Only one other story mentions drugs: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/freddy-krueger-killer-butchered-brother-13861506

“Over the last sixth months before the incident, [he] started to change… His appearance declined, he was scruffy and he stopped bathing. He was listening to conspiracy theories on his laptop and smoking cannabis.”

That leaves 26 cases that might involve a drug gang member killing a rival, or might otherwise suggest drugs legalisation would prevent future such cases.

In one, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-46652037, the court was told the motive remained a mystery, but may have been mistaken identity.

In another, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-45868392*, also likely a case of mistaken identity, the killer wanted revenge for an attack on his friend in prison. This man, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-46360495, was stabbed to death in prison for similarly obscure reasons.

Others include:

None of the remaining cases has gone to trial, but there is no mention of drugs.

It is, therefore, misleading to write as @townsendmark does, ‘The destabilising influence of the county lines system has helped to drive fatal stabbings to the highest levels since records began.’

What we do know is that the nature of these crimes suggests minds steeped in psychoactive drugs, most likely cannabis. It is the ‘destabilising influence’ of cannabis on the mind, not a desire to control the trade in it, that has likely ‘fuelled’ much of this violence.

But we’d rather pretend that London is like the eponymous ‘City of God’, in which charismatic drug dealers murder each other, than consider that some of these drug-addled killers took offence at something trivial or imagined, or acted without any rational explanation at all.

I have challenged, without reply, many drug ‘reform’ dupes to cite a case of somebody being imprisoned for drugs possession. I challenge them now to cite a case of a drug dealer killing a rival to protect his ‘market’.

*This is the case of Daniel Frederick, who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack outside his home as he returned home to his pregnant girlfriend in January last year. According to this article, https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/crime-court/fourth-defendant-gives-evidence-in-daniel-frederick-murder-trial-1-5661659, one of the five defendants, who was found guilty of manslaughter, said during the trial,

the five of them [the accused] had been at the house of the 16-year-old drug dealer who admitted murder, listening to music, smoking cannabis and playing video games when they came up with the plan.

The teen who was expelled from Stoke Newington School, said he was “frassed” or stoned when they left, and “didn’t realise anyone had knives”.

In October 2016 he was convicted himself for possession of a 10cm kitchen knife and a bag of cannabis after being caught red-handed by police.

The other dismally notable thing about this case is that the judge, Philip Katz, QC, said that Mr Frederick had been, “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He was not. He was in the right place, returning home to his pregnant girlfriend, at the right time, the time he and his girlfriend had arranged. It is the five cannabis-smoking savages who were in the wrong place, free society, at the wrong time, ever.

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