Are images of seized knives an effective crime deterrent? A comparative thematic analysis of young people’s views within the Scottish context

N. Cogan*, Y. Chin-Van Chau, K. Russell, W. Linden, N. Swinson, P. Eckler, L. Knifton, V. Jordan, D. Williams, C. Coleman, S.C. Hunter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The urgency to reduce knife carrying has been recognised by police services within Scotland and has been addressed by initiatives such as the sharing of knife seizure images on media outlets. This study sought to explore young peoples’ views on the use of knife seizure images as a deterrent to carrying knives by using comparative individual interviews (N = 20). Three themes were discovered: (1) negative reactions towards images of seized knives, (2) images of knives may encourage rather than deter knife carrying, and (3) reinforcement of existing beliefs, stereotypes and stigma. These findings highlight the limitations of using knife seizure images as a deterrent and the importance of involving young people in developing preventative and non-discriminatory approaches to tackling knife crime.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Early online date11 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • young people
  • knife crime
  • knife images
  • Scotland
  • qualitative
  • photo elicitation
  • Young people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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