Rapper Will.i.am believes the UK’s knife crime epidemic in urban areas is “not as bad as it’s being reported”.
Last month the homicide total in London alone for 2018 reached 100 amid growing fears over the level of violent crime across the country.
Will.i.am, a member of hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas and a coach on The Voice UK, suggested it was unfair to focus too much on the problem in “urban areas”.
He told the Press Association the issue should be tackled with “love, compassion, understanding, tolerance”, and that “they should not be happening in urban communities”.
He added: “But if you look at the whole of the UK’s urban areas, it’s not as bad as it’s being reported.
“The majority of urban areas are pretty awesome in the UK, when you compare it to the majority of areas in America – the death toll, the guns.
“It’s good if they are reporting it but they should also report the other side too and paint how awesome inner-city urban communities are in the UK. It’s not fair on the awesome side of the UK to over-report the negative side.
“When you compare the urban areas of the UK to the urban areas of America, the UK is the safest place in the world.”
He added he did not want to comment on Brexit because he does not want to “disrespect the folks” who voted for it, but admitted he does not agree with the move, because “I am about collaboration”.
Last month, The Black Eyed Peas announced a new single, Big Love, as well as their first album in nearly eight years and the first to be recorded without Fergie, whose departure from the band was confirmed earlier this year.
Titled Masters Of The Sun, it is due to be released in October.
Will.i.am said the recording process has been “wonderful” and “like getting on a bike again”.
The album will explore themes of police brutality, immigration and education reforms in the US.
Will.i.am said political songs put the band “on the map”, adding: “The song Where Is The Love, we were talking about what was going on post-9/11 and if it wasn’t for that song, there wouldn’t be I Gotta Feeling or Pump It.”