With the rise of violent crime and murder in England’s capital within the first 5 months of the year I think it is important to explore what is fuelling this rise and particularly amongst young people. With 55 murders since the start of 2018 and the majority of them being young people London is facing the most unprecedented rise in violent crime and murder since 2005. However in order to recognise the reasons for this recent spike it is important to recognise the role social media today is playing alongside the more traditional socio-economic factors leading young people to engage and too often become victims of violent crime. Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick in an interview with the Times newspaper blamed social media for London’s increasing crime rate stating social media is escalating online threats into offline physical confrontation with devastating consequences. Undoubtedly social media has bought violent and criminal gang confrontations into the wider public spectrum with social media accounts dedicated to sharing violent fights or confrontations continuously gathering attention. However despite this to account the unprecedented rise of violent crime in London amongst young people down to social media alone fails to account for the impact of budget cuts on the police and the profound socio-economic factors driving young people to engage in crime. Social media today has simply amplified and exacerbated violent crime within London and particularly its impact on young people. Violent crime amongst young people today has an online public audience coercing young people to retaliate due to the social pressure of being exposed. In spite of this core roots of the increasing murder rate are still the socio-economic situations of poverty these young people find themselves in and the increasing lure of crime as a way out.  Social media companies need to take responsibility in controlling the violent footage being shared on their platforms and the subsequent impact this is having on young people. Alongside professionals need to be trained in being aware of how social media is spiralling the lives of young people out of their control due to online public audiences. Although social media is not the cause of violent crime it remains a tool which we must monitor and understand in order to fully address the causes of the unprecedented rise of murders within London and its impact on young people.


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