Teenagers ‘Too Afraid to Go out’ in Sadiq Khan’s London as Gun, Knife Violence Soars
Soaring knife and gun violence in Sadiq Khan’s London has made many teenagers ‘too scared to leave the house’, a community meeting in Hackney has heard.
At an event on the “crisis situation” caused by violent crime in the borough, where six people have been murdered this year, community safety chief Cllr Caroline Selman said the spike in violence was making young people fearful.“One of the most heartbreaking things over the Easter holidays was how many young people were talking about how scared they were to go out,” she said,speakingat a church in Stoke Newington close to where a man was stabbed to death in January,
A panel of charity workers and so-called community leaders at the Question Time-style event, which was hosted by Labour’s Ethnic Minority Forum (EMF), claimed that school disciplinary policies and “Conservative party cuts” to policing and youth programmes were to blame for stabbings and shootings.
Agreeing with an audience member who claimed “the incarceration of our young people is profitable”, Janette Collins from the Crib youth project argued that the £30,000 spent keeping someone in prison for a year would be better spent on measures that, the Hackney Gazette reparted, would “safeguard and enrich the lives of young people”.
“Once the police services start becoming private entities it’s obvious that they will want to make money,” she said. “Pupil referral units have become a very big business in our society and we need to challenge that.”
“When you exclude a child from school you may as well say to them here is your prison number,” she added, endorsing a theory popular amongst leftists in the U.S. left that exclusionary disciplinary measures are responsible for the disproportionate representation of black people in the criminal justice system.
Efforts by Barack Obama to end the so-called school-to-prison pipeline across the Atlantic came under scrutiny earlier this year after politicians and commentators looked at the role of a civil rights law enacted by the former president in contributing to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in which 17 people lost their lives.
Leroy Logan MBE, a retired policeman who now runs black advocacy campaign group Voyage, blamed rising violence on government cuts to services for young people, arguing that youth workers in London were being replaced with criminals.
“Young people who are getting groomed on the streets to do all sorts of madness,” he said, complaining about the increasing presence of gangs in London.
However, the former Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector criticised the force’s ‘Gangs Matrix’, which was recently slammed as racist by Amnesty UK for featuring mostly black suspects, adding: “Unfortunately, I get the sense that it is a pre-Lawrence era in terms of trust and confidence in the police.”
Youth homicides in the capital have increased by 30 per cent in the last year while knife crime has risen 22 per cent to its highest level on record after Khan pressured officers to slash the use of “vital” policing tool stop and search.
A number of Labour figures have been vocal critics of law and order policies for tackling crime including former party leadership candidate Chuka Umunna, who has called forauthorities to treat London’s knife crime epidemic as a “mental health issue”.
And Labour’s David Lammy last month blamed government cuts for youth violence in the capital, tellingThe Guardian that a 19-year-old aspiring rap artist who was shot outside a cinema, in what police believe was part of a “postcode war” between gangs, died “because he was black”.
Expressing deep and angry animosity towards “white privilege” during the interview, in which he also blamed “white, middle-class” cocaine users for the deaths of ethnic minority youths, the Tottenham MP told journalist Decca Aitkenhead to “go and ask the white men who run my party” why youth violence was not eradicated under Labour.
Towards the end of their conversation, she reported that “tears began streaming down” Lammy’s face when she challenged him over his tweeting “a eulogy of unconditional praise” for Winnie Mandela, after the death of the South African activist who endorsed the brutal ‘necklacing’ murders in which victims were subjected to a slow, agonising death.
“I’m not going to be cowed by the rampant racism, the organised racism, that comes from parts of the alt-right, that seeks to put down every single tweet I make,” he told the newspaper, declaring that “Winnie was our hero”.
“I’m standing with Winnie. And I don’t give a damn. It’s as simple as that. I’m not running in the opposite direction. That’s why I tweeted. This is where I’m from,” he said while banging the table in angry frustration, according to The Guardian.
“I grew up just a few roads away. This is where I’m from. I speak for the people I represent. And we are proud of Winnie Mandela – faults and all.”