Violent crime has increased by 19%, shown in new numbers released by the Metropolitan Police. It seems the only thing a young person, or any person for that matter, can see when scrolling through social media platforms and news pages.

From the perspective of a teenager, the constant hushed whispers of recent crimes in our ears to make us take the longer, safer route home, wear a longer skirt or not make any eye contact with anyone on public transport is not only exhausting but admittedly slightly scary. How can we address, overcome and act upon all the information being pushed down our throats?

Understanding. Easier said than done, understanding doesn’t mean just reading something, and automatically thinking that one of the crimes will happen to you. Reading the articles and getting deep into the details could be good for you to feel secure, or going onto the metropolitan police’s freedom of information page or helplines to make sure you fully understand. But remember, you don’t need to launch your own full-blown investigation but just developing your understanding can be useful in feeling more secure during everyday life and being confident in public.

As readily available the information we inhale from Snapchat stories and Instagram feeds, it may not be the best path in which to approach reliable information. That isn’t to say that it won’t be true, just that backing up information with evidence from reliable newspapers and websites such as BBC news and others. Trusting the word of mouth can distort your view of your safety and the entire world around you.

But why do any of this, and why can’t we, now, just listen to anything. The answer is an extremely overused and over-dramatised words right now and at the sound of it, some cower and others groan. Fake news. Lots of people will display these reactions without fully understanding the term. It’s a neologism used to refer to fabricated news which is, in short, articles or news that is factually false but presented as accurate. Even though now it is dished out like there is no tomorrow, it isn’t something just to cast away, since it is very relevant and can affect your emotions. Understanding reliable sources can eradicate any uncertainty of fake news.

Hopefully, teenager to teenager, sharing struggles and bare truths could be useful to live our lives free of any scared thoughts in the backs of our heads trying to stop us from the living a safe life. So let’s not let the growing rise in crime scare us, but make us stronger, together.