The lived experience of Black men involved in knife-enabled crime in London – An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Prof Doc Thesis

Sindiyo, S. 2023. The lived experience of Black men involved in knife-enabled crime in London – An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsSindiyo, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

In England and Wales, Knife-enabled crime has pervaded the political, academic, and societal spheres since the early 2000s when he term ‘knife crime’ began to be employed (Williams & Squires, 2021). Over the years, knife-enabled crime in the UK has morphed into a racialised and genderised category of criminal activity with strong associations made between the crime and Black young boys and men. Contemporary discourse within academic research, as well as in government reports, have suggested determinants that may lead an individual toward knife-enabled crime. What seems to be lacking in the exploration of this phenomenon is the voice of the enactors and an understanding of their lived experiences. There appears to be an omission of the enactors’ perceptions, views and narratives in the majority of existing literature.

This research seeks to explore the lived experience of Black men in London who have been involved in knife-enabled crime. The participants in this research are Black men, with one self-identifying as dual heritage. All four participants had used a knife to physically harm or hurt another person. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was adopted as the methodology. The analysis yielded four major themes emerged and 10 subthemes, which were: ‘Starting the journey into knife-enabled crime’, ‘engaging in knife-enabled crime: It’s like in a war’, ‘life after using the knife: I wanted change’, and ‘knife-enabled crime: Blackness and maleness’. The discussion contextualises these findings within contemporary discourses and recommendations are made for counselling psychologists and other clinicians in therapeutic practice. This research hopes to contribute new insights, knowledge and understanding of the knife-enabled crime phenomenon informed by the unique lived experiences and perspectives of the enactors. The research also hopes to enhance current provision of therapeutic support offered to individuals with this experience, be it in public, private or third sectors.

Keywordsknife crime; lived experience; knife-enabled crime; phenomenology
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online31 Oct 2023
Publication process dates
Completed15 Jun 2023
Deposited31 Oct 2023
Copyright holder© 2023, The Author
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