I vividly remember good, old days when we first landed on these shores in late sixties. Traditionally East End was first port of call for new arrivals, whether they were Jews fleeing persecution in Germany and Russia or refugees fleeing divested countries at the end of WW2 for economic reasons.
Although East End was one of the most deprived areas in London, there were no crimes, ladies were able to enjoy Navratri, walk back home late at night in complete safety. So why East End has changed beyond recognition!
Government slogan was “Tough on crime and tough on reasons behind crimes!” as if fancy slogans could be the easiest way to reduce crimes, fool the public rather than invest in police, put more bobbies on the beat, open or rather not to shut youth clubs and such other places where bored youngsters can spend their time in safe environment, under watchful eyes of volunteer social workers.
When it comes to social care funding, government pleads poverty but not when it comes to Overseas Aid and Defence Spending which is much higher than super rich countries like Germany who depends on us for their safety! In the Land of Blind, one eyed Jack is the king; that is how our politicians behave, whether it is Brexit, NHS, Transport or Immigration. No wonder Britain is at odds with EU!
No one has mentioned parents’ role or how much family can influence in reducing knife crimes. Many children are brought up in one parent family, mainly by mothers who struggle to make the end meet. The tradition of family dinner where whole family sit on the dining table together and week-ends spend in parks during summer months has become the thing of the past. Parents have neither time nor inclination for such tradition and children brought-up in such environment prefer the company of other children, gathering on street corners that lead to formation of gangs, drug trafficking and ultimately knife crime.
Prosecuting these children may not work, as so often it is seen as a “Badge of Honour” not a deterrent. The answer lies in combination of measures, including name and shame, perhaps corporal punishment in worse case scenario but without increase funding which has been cut to the bone, nothing will work, especially government policy to involve teachers, doctors and nurses who are already working long hours, loyal to their profession beyond call of duty! Let us call, spade a spade without fear or favour!