NO ONE in their right mind can be unconcerned about knife crime in this country today.

It is not exclusive to individual communities, races or beliefs. It touches us all in some way because now, in 2019, in a land which dares to call itself civilised, each week more children are dying needlessly.

Last weekend alone, a 17 year-old Manchester Grammar School pupil died from stab wounds in the wealthy Cheshire village of Hale Barns. Police don’t believe it was gang-related and two other 17 year-old youths were arrested. So even more lives are wasted by a single act of madness.

In a London park, a 17 year-old young woman was stabbed in cold blood as two men apparently walked straight up to her and one of them knifed her in the back.

They are all the latest victims of a crime epidemic which has seen a 54 per cent rise over the last five years in children and teens treated for injuries from knives. This year already, no week seems to have gone by without more stabbings being reported, young lives lost, families devastated.

So what can we do to stop it? Obviously, there is no one quick answer. And what do I know anyway? I’m just some old journalist past her prime.

But, surely, commonsense tells us all that more police and more intervention much earlier for youngsters to change mind-sets has got to help?

Former Met police chief Lord Hogan-Howe, speaking on TV earlier this week, made eminent good sense talking about the need for more resources all round – including better use of modern technology to identify those carrying knives.

Currently, anyone convicted of a second knife possession offence faces a statutory minimum prison sentence. Those who make threats with knives always receive sentences longer than six months. Sadly, youngsters appear to be more frightened of being caught without knives to “defend” themselves than of going to prison.

In Scotland, where violent crime has now reached a 40-year low, knife crime is treated as a public health matter. A whole host of issues are tackled early and a route to unemployment and rebuilding trust established.

Just like any other public health issue, the core epidemiology is examined to contain the spread of “infection”. And the biggest predictor of violence is a preceding act of violence.

The Scottish system has revealed that it’s vital to recognise that some people are at greater risk because of their environment and that there is a need for better education and proper support.

This isn’t pie in the sky. This has happened here and it’s a working model the rest of the world is examining and employing. Yet, its nearest neighbours appear not to be learning its lessons.

Money is naturally at the heart of this. But, by not spending where it matters and where it will work, by not having more police personnel, more financial help for the charities involved, more early intervention, deaths and injuries and blighted lives will simply continue.