'A ban on knives will not be effective to stop violence among young people'

Professor Frank Weerman responds to youth violence on RTV Rijnmond

On 13 February 2020, Prof. Frank Weerman, professor of juvenile crime at Erasmus School of Law, gave an interview to RTV Rijnmond, among other things in connection with the recent stabbing in the municipality of Ridderkerk and the intention of this municipality to introduce a stricter knife ban.

Weerman notes that young people are increasingly convicted for the illegal possession of weapons, but that does not mean that violence among young people in it's entirety is increasing. In 2017, young people were convicted 280 times for illegal possession of weapons and in 2019 this number rose to 395 times. Weerman gives two possible causes of this increase: young people are more often copying the behavior of others and at the same time they want to protect themselves against a possible stabbing. There is a paradox: on the one hand, young people feel safer by wearing a knife, but by doing so they run a greater risk of being injured. Frank Weerman: 'Fights escalate faster and if you have a large knife with you, then you also have to show that you are not backing down.'

Read more in Dutch.

Professor
Faculty
Criminologie
University
Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
Chair
Jeugdcriminaliteit