A systematic review of evidence capturing efficacy of community and school-based approaches to knife crime intervention and prevention programs

Dean Wilkinson, Isha Chopra*, Sophie Badger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: Knife crime and serious violent crime (SVC) among youth has been growing at an alarming rate in the UK (Harding and Allen, 2021). Community and school-based intervention and prevention services to tackle knife crime are being developed with some evaluation; however, these are independent and of varied quality and rigour. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to record the approaches being developed and synthesise existing evidence of the impact and effectiveness of programmes to reduce knife crime. In addition, the complex factors contributing to knife crime and SVC are discussed. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic approach was used to conduct this knife crime intervention evidence review using two search engines and four databases. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to ensure focus and relevance. The results of searches and decisions by the research team were recorded at each stage using Preferred Reporting Items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA). Findings: Some evidence underpins the development of services to reduce knife crime. Much of the evidence comes from government funded project reports, intervention and prevention services reports, with few studies evaluating the efficacy of intervention programmes at present. Some studies that measured immediate impact in line with the programme’s aims were found and demonstrated positive results. Originality/value: This systematic review specifically synthesised the evidence and data derived from knife crime and weapon carrying interventions and preventions, integrating both grey and published literature, with a novel discussion that highlights the importance of outcome evaluations and issues with measuring the success of individual level interventions and their contributions to the overall reduction of violence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Criminal Psychology
Early online date28 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Interventions
  • Knife crime
  • Preventions
  • Public health
  • Serious violence crime
  • Violence reduction

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