London – In another swipe at minorities, Sajid Javid has announced a “public health” approach to knife crime that co-opts discriminatory PREVENT logic and extends it further into society.

City Hall announced it would be taking a public health approach to knife violence last year, and now the Home Secretary has recently announced that his office will be taking a Prevent-style “public health” approach to the issue.

This approach is evidence of the exploitation of a social issue, and the corruption of the very notion of “public health”, rather than an honest attempt to solve deeper societal injustices that give rise to criminal behaviour.

Furthermore, the move will entrench the failed and toxic securitisation and behaviour intervention processes of PREVENT, while blending it with the police’s already racist and problematic database known as the Gang Matrix.

Asim Qureshi CAGE Research Director, said:

“To solve social violence it is crucial to understand it as a product of underfunded, under-serviced and abandoned communities, and ongoing, deep social inequalities that plague Britain. Instead, this securitised approach is whipping up sympathy for police and opening the door for heightened discrimination and abuse.”

“This announcement is yet more evidence that the government seeks to evade accountability, while continuing its criminalisation of Black and working class communities through a gross perversion of the very notion of “public health”, which is meant to embed trust in society.”

“The very fact that Mr Javid is evoking PREVENT in this framework, illustrates not only the commonalities of experience between black and Muslim communities, but a blind continuation of a policy that has already been acknowledged as having failed.”


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