Knife deaths figures among children and teenagers in England and Wales are set to hit astronomical heights this year, the worse since 2008. Fresh official statistics show London is facing its second worst year in four decades as poor data collation expose a rising violent crime faced by young people.

Amid chaotic data of the demographic profiles of young people who have died from knife attacks in the UK, information has shown that police forces across the country do not publish figures for the number of young people killed by knives and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is equally silent on this information in its homicide figures.

However, succour from the Homicide Index, a Home Office dataset which records homicide figures in England and Wales dating back to 1967, holds the figures for young persons Knife deaths in the country.

The Guardian freedom of information request with nonchalant Home Office for knife deaths figures over the past 40 years went unanswered for 10 months as they downplayed the significance of the social problem.

Figures show an upswing in knife deaths among children and teenagers in England and Wales

Similarly, these figures also somersaulted the common narrative that knife deaths are a phenomenon among only black teenagers. According to The Guarding report, " in the decade to 2015, the vast majority of those who died (from knife attacks) were not black teenagers.

Almost two-thirds of the victims were white or Asian. While those figures are disproportionate to the population, they still challenge perceptions about young knife deaths.

Black on black knife crimes, or more familiarly, 'black on black crime' have in the last decade gained notoriety in the eyes of the public and police forces alike and have formed a significant part of police investigations in England and Wales, oftentimes frustrating police chiefs to the hilt.

The London Metropolitan Police Commissioner, was an embodiment of this frustration when last month she came under severe criticisms for apparently calling for "more black boys" to be locked up after suggesting that harsher jail terms should be used to deter teenagers driving a spate of knife crime in London. But correctional facilities have really not corrected anyone.

Following a spike in knife attacks and stabbings in London, accounting for over 15 percent so far this year with 16 teenage deaths due to knife attacks, the Commissioner said: “We need a blend of better engagement by public services, more diversion, and more imaginative community resolution to help keep as many young people out of prison as possible. For debate, should we couple that with harsher more effective sentencing? It is clear other approaches are no longer working.”

The Commissioner added that young black men and boys were statistically more likely to be the victims and perpetrators of knife crime, making up 21 of 24 teenagers murdered so far this year.

Deadly spate of knife attacks show no signs of abating

As more incidents of Death by knives are reported across the capital, families are reeling from the tortuous impact of these dastardly and murderous mayhem on our streets. The family of Jason Isaacs, a teenager stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in Northolt in north-west London in November, said knife crime was 'out of control' in the capital, and called on the authorities to do more to stop young people carrying knives.

Senseless knife killings in England and Wales remain stubborn and intractable leading to a nine-year peak, with official figures showing that this year alone, 35 children and teenagers have been killed with fears that this figure is set to rise.

So what is the right approach to stemming the tide of violent knife attacks and its growing impact on everyday people and the society? Perhaps authorities in England and Wales need to borrow a leaf from Scotland where knife crime is treated as a health issue which has now led to a dramatic drop in stabbings: of the 35 deaths of young people in Britain this year, none were in Scotland.

The direct correlation between the approach to tackling knife crime in Scotland and the drop in the occurrence is so stark and raises very fundamental questions about the myopic way we view health issues.

According to the Guardian, between April 2006 and April 2011, 40 children and teenagers were killed in knife attacks in Scotland. Between 2011 and 2016, that figure fell to just eight.

The decline has been most precipitous in Glasgow, which once had one of the highest murder rates in western Europe.

Between 2006 and 2011, 15 children and teenagers were killed with knives in Scotland’s largest city; between April 2011 and April 2016, that figure was zero. The number of people carrying knives also appears to have declined across Scotland.

Police Scotland figures show that there were 10, 110 recorded incidents of handling an offensive weapon in 2006-2007, a figure which fell to 3, 111 in 2015-2016 – a decline of 69 percent in a decade!

These are numbing statistics. There is a good story that is been told in Scotland. Perhaps authorities in England and Wales need to pay greater attention to why the prescription which seems to suggest locking up more offenders might not be the right medicine for the ailment. Across the pond in the United States, the over-populated prison system has not scratched crime on the surface. Perhaps, just perhaps, Scotland holds the answer.