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As part of the escalating wave of knife crime gripping London, young people have started awarding themselves “points” for rival stabbings. And social media, specifically Snapchat, only catalyzes the violence, those on the frontlines told VICE News.
England and Wales experienced a 22 percent increase in knife crime last year. And so far in London this year, knives caused 42 out of the 67 murders. Many believe that cuts to youth services and police budgets have contributed to violence. But online arguments — and the mindset that accompanies them — also bleed into the real world to create a tit-for-tat system that left over 2,000 Londoners under the age of 25 experiencing knife violence last year.
Travis was standing not far from his home when a group of children from an adjacent housing estate plunged a long blade deep into his stomach. The motive, he said, was retaliation for a fist fight.
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