Knife Crime - Home Affairs Committee Contents

Examination of Witness (Question Numbers 520-521)


24 MARCH 2009

  Q520  Chairman: Prior to you giving evidence and before you came into the room we had evidence from Professor Browne who talked to us about the effect of violent video games on the knife crime culture. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  Chris Grayling: It is one of those issues where for the vast majority of kids I think it is not a problem because most kids have a sense of proportion. I am worried about some aspects of some games. I think one or two games for example that glorify rape are utterly unacceptable. The truth is that young boys in particular have played with soldiers or waved guns at each other or whatever for generations and what you are seeing in many computer games today is merely an extension of that in a slightly more life-like form. I do not think for the vast majority of kids it is going to turn them into something that is bad. I do think that we have to be watchful and that those who license the games, and parents in particular—it is down to parents as well to work if there is a problem—need to be watchful; there are aspects of those games, like the glorification of rape, which are unacceptable.

  Q521  Chairman: Based on your evidence today, if we were seeking a title for a report from yourself as the Shadow Home Secretary, it would be called Early Intervention. Is that your message?

  Chris Grayling: Yes, absolutely, and I think we have to stop young people in particular getting involved in more serious crime, whatever they do, and that is the best way of combating knife crime. Deal with it when it happens but let us try to prevent it if we can.

  Chairman: Mr Grayling, thank you very much for giving evidence to us today. I am sure we will meet you again.

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