Knife crime a much greater concern among ethnic minority Britons

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
August 06, 2021, 9:15 AM UTC

Britons from ethnic minorities are much more likely than the general public to know a knife crime victim or to have been one themselves

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has warned that the lifting of coronavirus restrictions is likely to lead to an increase in knife crime. But the impact from rising knife crime will likely be felt to a greater extent among Britain’s ethnic minority communities, who YouGov data shows are disproportionally affected by it.

One in six Britons from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (17%) know a victim of knife crime closely or have been one themselves. This is nearly twice the rate as among the wider population, at 9%. Among those aged 25 to 49, the difference is more than two-fold, at 18% vs 8%.

Among ethnic minority Britons, 6% say a family member has been a victim of knife crime, while 8% say the same about a close friend and 4% have experienced it themselves. 

In contrast, of all people in Britain, only 3% have a family member who has been a knife crime victim, one in twenty (5%) have a close friend, and 2% have experience of it first-hand.

Young people from ethnic minorities aged 18-24 are the most likely to know several victims, including themselves, when comparing across age and with the general public. One in twenty (5%) say they have been a victim, while respectively 11% and 9% say a family member and/or close friend has.

In contrast, among all Britons aged 18 to 24, a statistical 0% say they have been a victim, while 4% have a family member who has, and 9% a close friend.

Ethnic minority parents are much more worried about knife crime

The impact of knife crime on ethnic minority communities is also evident in how many Britons from such backgrounds, and those with children under 18 in particular, worry about a loved one becoming involved.

A majority of ethnic minority Britons (58%) are scared that someone they care about will be a victim of knife crime, including three in ten (29%) who are very worried. This is much higher than among the 39% in the wider population, of whom 12% feel very anxious.

Parents from ethnic minority backgrounds with children under the age of 18 are the most prone to worrying, with seven in ten (70%) fearing that a loved one could become a victim of knife crime. This includes one in three parents (34%) who are very scared of the prospect.  

In contrast, just under half of all parents with children under 18 (47%) share the same fear, and only one in eight (13%) are very worried.

The public are generally much less anxious about someone they hold dear becoming a perpetrator of knife crime, with only 7% of people worrying about this. While the same is true for Britons from ethnic minorities, they are still three times as likely to be concerned about it, at 22%. This includes 10% who are very worried.

The same disparity is clear among parents. One in three ethnic minority parents with children under 18 (35%) are scared a loved one will become a perpetrator of knife crime, including one in seven (17%) who are deeply concerned.

This is more than twice the rate as among all parents with a child under the age of 18, of whom only 14% are concerned someone they care about could commit knife crime, including 8% who are very worried.

See the full results here and here