"there were 243 'homicides with a sharp instrument' in 1995 and 236 in 2005".There is much I disagree with in Simon Jenkins' article (indeed with Simon Jenkins' views in general) but that one line shows how our current media can distort. That one line is all we need to know to demonstrate that things are not 'getting worse' (although we are looking at the products of the Thatcher generation)...
As I have shown with the debate on gun deaths, the situation is actually improving. That is not to say that we haven't still got a serious problem with youths out of control. Even the smallest of minorities in that kind of mental state can cause big problems.
The solution is simple...but it could mean a little more taxes to pay. Those on the Right will never have a solution to this - because their solutions have been tried and failed many times - their Old Testament 'lock em up' does not work, as our prison population demonstrates. Neither does grandstanding on morals - pretending that by simply saying it, they can radically change behaviour - they cannot.
Finally neither does the Right's reliance on 'the free market' to magically solve everything, work. In fact 'the free market' is exactly the problem. There is no short-term economic incentive for the private sector to keep our youth - active, healthy, educationally and sportingly engaged in rewarding worthwhile pursuits, there is just not enough money to be made - which is why our youth are left to wander the streets aimlessly. Only taxpayers can provide the long-term planning to engage our youth and improve the efficiency of our economic infrastructure in the process. Businesses have proved they cannot think that far ahead, 'the market' does not allow them that time. Like evolution - the 'free market' is a process that is nasty, brutish and wasteful. Left to the distorted market (for that is the true picture without decent regulation to keep it in check) the majority have to suffer for the few to prosper. But with intelligence, societies can and do rise above this - the more equal societies can have strong economic performance and of course lower crime, in fact I would argue that more equal societies prosper precisely because of their tax funded expenditure on education, social security, health, transport etc.