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Millions of adults in the United Kingdom were sexually assaulted. The Crime Survey revealed this for England and Wales (CSEW) in its March 2020 report.

According to the CSEW, an estimated 1.6 million adults aged 16 to 74 years were raped or experienced penetration since the age of 16 years. Of this number, sexual and physical abuse solicitors said that almost half (49%) were victimised more than once, and their partner or ex-partner assaulted more than four in 10 (44%).

Most Cases of Sexual Abuse Occur in The Victim’s Home

Nearly one in 10 (9%) of the attacks occurred on the street, in a car park, park, or other open public spaces. Over one-third, (37%) of the assaults happened at the victim’s home, according to the CSEW.

Sadly, fewer than one in six (16%) reported this to the police, according to sexual and physical abuse solicitors. Those who confided to other people said they avoided the police because of embarrassment (40%). Others (38%) believed the police could not help, while 34% wanted to avoid humiliation.

Over half (54%) of the victims said the perpetrator forced them to have sex, while 6% said they were threatened with death.

Millions Suffer From Physical Abuse

Statistics regarding physical abuse are equally bleak; The CSEW said an estimated 7.6% of adults aged 18 to 74 experienced this before 16. This amounts to 3.1 million people.

Research showed that the crime was often committed by the child’s parent(s). Fathers were blamed in four out of 10 cases, while their mothers abused around three in 10.

The CSEW added that physical abuse is the only type of child abuse that affects both men and women equally.

In the year ending March 2019, 117,617 cases of child physical abuse were recorded by the UK police.

Contact Us For Sexual Abuse Cases

If you have been sexually or physically abused, report this criminal offence immediately. This is a personal injury case that can affect you physically and psychologically; because of this, you may be compensated for your suffering or loss of earnings resulting from your inability to work.

For help, consult the professional physical and sexual abuse lawyers of Deo Volente (DV) Solicitors in Bedford, UK. We sympathise with your plight and are ready to help you get back on your feet.

Try our No Win-No Fee service, which means you will not have to pay the costs of the case if you lose your claim, and you will only be charged for the disbursements, should they be required. Rest assured that your cases will be treated confidentially.

For more information, visit DV Solicitors, call 01234 350 244, or email [email protected].

Criminal Law Vs Civil Law: Confused about the differences between civil and criminal law? Don’t be! Read this article, and you’ll learn how the basics in no time at all.

What is Civil Law?

In a nutshell, civil law deals with disputes between individuals, organizations, or between the two. In most cases, this involves the awarding of compensation. Civil law aims to achieve a remedy or compensation for the injured party. Private parties file these cases.
So, if you’re talking about property, money, family disputes like divorce or the custody of a child, and childcare arrangements, these fall under civil offence. This is because these areas concern the rights or property of persons or organizations.

Personal injury cases from falls, traffic accidents, medical negligence, and the dissolution of civil partnerships also fall under civil offence. Other examples are breaches of contract and employee discrimination where the contract is unpaid or not honoured.

No one goes to prison in a civil case, but the loser may have to fork out a lot of cash if that person is found liable for compensation. This can happen if an employee is injured at work, and it is proven that the employer has a duty of care to that person.

What is Criminal Law?

Criminal law, on the other hand, deals with crime and the punishment of criminal offences. A criminal offence negatively affects society, not just one person. Criminal law aims to punish and deter other offenders from committing crimes. This is done to maintain law and order. In this case, the punishment given is equal to the crime committed.

Criminal offences include sex crimes, murder, fraud, drug dealing, money laundering, and other crimes.
Offenders are subject to criminal prosecution by the state. If found guilty, criminals UK is penalized with fines, prison sentences, or community orders. Criminal cases are often filed by the government.

How long after a crime can you be charged in the UK? Based on UK law, police can detain a person who has been arrested for a maximum of 24 hours. Three things can happen at that time.

Police must either charge the person with the offence, release the individual under bail with the condition that he returns later for further questioning, or release the person without charge.

Do you need help with your civil or criminal law case? If so, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the professional lawyers of Deo Volente (DV) Solicitors in Bedford, UK. Our experienced lawyers are ready to assist you. Consult us today for peace of mind.
For more information, visit dvsolicitors.com, call 01234 350 244, or email [email protected].

Figures show that a knife or blade was used in a crime every 16 minutes on average last year, not only that but knife crime has substantially risen by 11% and is nearing the levels of 5 years ago according to Home Office Reports. 

What is it that makes ‘knife carrying’ so popular amongst today’s youth and is it worth the risk?

This article explores some of the underlying issues relating to the spike in knife crime.       

The rise in knife crime doesn’t necessarily mean a strong causal link between gang culture but there is a fear that our next generation of youths are being accustomed to carrying a knife in the hope that they are ‘protecting themselves, but arguably today's youngsters are a product of their environment and feel they need that protection to survive.

Many of the crimes turned into horrific murders. In a recent knife attack on the 22nd June 2020 in Reading, 3 members of the public were killed and a further 3 hospitalised. Home Secretary Priti Patel spoke about the issue in the House of Commons and described it as a ‘senseless attack’. 

Arguably it’s a culture that has been created but this is the time where a deeper look into the issues can help our next generation be brought up to be responsible adults and not killers in the making.

Recent Study on "Knife-Carrying" Among Youth

A recent study conducted shows youths stating that they felt ‘confident, like superman’ when they carried a knife. They called it their ‘protection tool’, claiming that they ‘would not leave their house without clothes so why would they leave without a knife’.

Many of the youths disregarded our justice system and claimed that ‘it doesn’t rehabilitate them, suggesting that if they were put back out on the streets then there would be the same problem’. Many of the youth insisted that they carried knives because they were scared and there is always danger, so at any point, they may feel they need to pull one out.

So what can we do to minimise the risk of knife crime and its connection to crime at an early stage? Firstly, the average youth carrying a knife has obtained it from their mother’s kitchen drawer, parents should hold responsibility for checking from time to time on their children.

The solution is not a prison but unfortunately, it is the cost they could incur. It is important that today’s generation is aware and educated to stop carrying knives before the problem even starts. Volunteering and learning new skills can give the youth a route out.

Parents and the police worry that this could be the start of a vicious cycle. The more stories and headlines portrayed by the media about knife crime are leading to more teenagers carrying knives to protect themselves. Although it can be seen that this problem can exist for many reasons, for example in less privileged areas individuals may feel ‘more powerful, confident and in control’.

What Does The Law Say on Knives?

You could be looking at up to 4 years imprisonment for possessing a knife. Case law such as ‘Povey’ is applied when sentencing an offender. Carrying a knife in public is a serious offence and is punished with severe sentences to protect the public, it is to act as a deterrent. The court states that we must consider the risk of harm that may foreseeably be caused.

The best advice would therefore simply be - DON’T carry it.

Knife crime figures do not illustrate a clear image, for example, whilst the number of people prosecuted for carrying knives is on the increase, it is suggested that the annual number of stabbings has been falling at times. Although the question about knife crime persists, statistics only show a small percentage that die in violent incidents.

The fear of knives has grown and with it, the number of young people that carry knives for protection has increased. The frequent reoccurring statement that carrying a knife provides them with safety.

The Media and Knife Crime

The term ‘knife’ itself is greatly used in the media and its exact meaning remains unclear, it potentially covers many offences confusing the outside of its definition and purpose of its occurrence. A great deal of media reporting biased comments and largely due to a lack of inconsistent data on knife crime. Even though it is portrayed that many young people carry knives and kill each other, the statistics show that the number of knife victims has been constant.

The downside of immense media reporting is the difficulty in the effects such as normalising it. It places thoughts in teenagers' minds that having a knife on them is becoming a fashion statement and having a huge effect on their self-fulfilling prophecy. As suggested earlier getting hold of a knife is fairly simple, many being able to obtain it from their kitchen homes.

There is however a move towards policies being created to help in the reduction, for example, a £3 million three-year advertising operation, which was planned by youths for young people to get the significance across that carrying knives can shatter lives and families.

Although the relative strength of these policies being introduced increases penalties to demonstrate the big effect of knife crime. On the other hand, certain individuals will have no fear of spending time in prison, for them as suggested in a documentary on the Nottingham spike in crime, it is all about reputation, ego and revenge. Young youths fear other teenagers more than they fear the police and more offenders are being jailed for carrying knives.

Is There Ever A Time You can Carry A Blaeded Article?

The defendant is entitled to be acquitted if it can be shown on the balance of probabilities that:

The defendant does not discharge the burden of showing good reason just by providing an explanation that is not contradicted by prosecution evidence. A defence put forward will always be tested by robust cross-examination.

Successful cases have also come to light where forgetfulness has allowed a successful appeal but ONLY in circumstances where the reason for having the knife in the first place was genuine and allowed by law. Case law such as Chahal v DPP allowed the defendant to successfully appeal against conviction for possessing a bladed article.

The defendant had used the knife at work and forgotten to leave it there. It was held that the appeal succeeded as he was seen as a truthful witness –forgetfulness, without some other good reason to support it, will not of itself entitle the accused to the benefit of the defence.

The defendant needs to go further and demonstrate the reason why the knife was there in the first place. The justices in the case appeared to have been misled into thinking that the casual nature of the appellant's work deprived him of good reason without more when the real question was whether the appellant genuinely had a good reason for having the knife and then genuinely forgotten about it; and that in so far as he had the article with him when recollection was restored he still had a good reason for having it with him.

Help Available

If you are aware of anyone that has been arrested or charged with a knife crime do call Deo Volente Solicitors on 01234 350244 and ask to speak to Selina Nahar or any available solicitor for advice.

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