Professor Fiona Brookman presents evidence to Parliamentary Committee on knife crime

Fiona Brookman

Professor Fiona Brookman will today be presenting evidence to Parliament’s Youth Select Committee Knife Crime Inquiry on what homicide and knife crime statistics can tell us about knife crime patterns and trends, the complex causes of youth violence and whether the Government’s Serious Crime Strategy is likely to be effective.

Her evidence, which draws upon her own research into homicide and violence, will call for the Government to tackle the structural drivers of violent crime such as poverty, unemployment, exclusion from mainstream society and the development of toxic neighbourhoods.

She will also point out that the public health approach to tackling knife crime has not yet been proven to work in the UK. 

UK’s rising knife crime

She will suggest that more qualitative research with young people to improve our understanding of the diverse and complex motives for knife carrying and involvement in violence is needed as well as better use of existing research of the factors at play in the micro-situational environment in which violence is played out (such as the role of reputation, a range of emotions, adversary and weapons effects).

"Young people need to be at the heart of designing strategies to help to prevent knife crime. We should involve them in steering and action groups and in the design and delivery of programmes,” said Professor Brookman.


Fiona Brookman is Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Criminology at the University of South Wales.

Using predominantly qualitative research methods, her research focuses on the dynamics and causes of homicide and violence, violence reduction and the police investigation of homicide. Her evidence draws upon her own research, other academic research in this field as well as a review of recent government, police and youth justice documents.

  • As outlined by the Youth Select Committee Inquiry, over 1.1 million young people declared knife crime their biggest concern in a UK-wide ballot of young people aged 11 to 18.
  • Research published by the House of Commons Library in November 2018, stated knife crime, particularly where it affects young people, has been a ‘persistent and growing concern’ for successive governments.

Watch a recording of the event here

Fiona Brookman Criminology KNife Crime Event