The importance of actually looking at statistics

Pretty much everyone in the UK thinks that youth violence is on the rise, and that knife crime* in particular is reaching newly epidemic proportions and requires a crack-down. But guess what? Looks like that might be totally wrong. Apparently 40 years ago, kids were far more likely to carry knives, and also far more likely to be victims of violent assaults. They also used more drugs. The only “moral panic” issue on which today’s kids rate higher is having sex. (A note: I’ve never heard to the publication that the article is in, and there are many things about the article that would have made me distrust the source. However, it was cited on the BBC’s Broadcasting House radio programme, so that’s at least some reason to trust it.)

*Yes, knife crime, you culture-shocked Americans! We’ve got serious gun control laws here.