I wasn’t going to. Up until 10 minutes ago I was not going to write my blog on the horrific gang violence that has been erupting across London the past few days. I wasn’t going to because it is just words and just words are not cutting it anymore.
But words are all I can offer.
I educate all the children and young people I work with around understanding the dangers of gang culture. The danger of knifes and guns. I educate my own son around the same subject. I train professionals, give talks…bare my heart and sole on these blogs. In the hope that it makes a difference somewhere.
But these are just words.
I have been part of petitions. I have sent emails to the prime minister of this country and her people. I have spoken out to the police. I have put my job on the line many many times….and…. for what.
A child was disembowelled on the streets of London this week.4 kids. Probably chased by other kids. Were heard screaming for help as they ran. 4 young people stabbed. 6 arrested. Many families shattered in the past few days after this happened. Bothe the perpetrators and the victims’ families have a lot to deal with over the next few months. There will be a lot of talking. A lot of words.
I just watched a video filmed days ago where the young people are fighting with the police!! They are fighting with each other the police with weapons. These are our streets.
So, we write our blogs, send our emails, put how angry/sad we are on various social media sites… words.
My own son, aged 20, came to my room 3 days ago. His face was dark, and he thrust his phone at me asking why children are dying on the streets and nothing is being done. Asking why no one cares. He is angry because deep down we all know that could have been him. He comes from them streets and he was part of them streets a long time ago.
And I had no words to answer him. Nothing.
So, I have decided that its not the words that are the problem. It’s the way we use them maybe. I mean… have tried almost everything I can to get the ones in power to listen. With my emails…my blogs…my talks.
We keep asking the people in power what THEY are gonna do to stop this. What THEY are planning to stop this violence. And …lets be here…nothing is changing.
Children, gang or not…. thug or not…criminal or not…children are murdering each other on the streets. Their guts spilling out onto the floor. The streets are turning red with OUR children’s blood. OUR sons and daughters. OUR grandchildren. OUR brothers and sisters. Wait…. I lie. I am sorry.
Not ours. Because If the prime minsters child’s guts were spilled onto the streets of London after he screamed for help and no one come…Something would be done. SOMETHING WOULD BE DONE!
So not all OUR children are dying. Just the ones in deprived areas…the one in poverty areas…the ones that faces don’t fit. The ones that society seems to have given up on.
So, I think asking the likes of Theresa May, Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick what THEY are going to do is falling on deaf ears. So here is my new question to them. Its only words but its worth a shot. My question is simply…
What the fuck would you do if it was you’re children???
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Now this is probably gonna get me into to trouble but!
Over last couple of months I have been quiet on social media largely because of local furore! However this post is deeply affecting. I cannot remain silent. Like many others who have left London, the city I love, where I spent most of my adult life, this year I have been a distant observer to the horrific events such as these most recent attrocities.
A serving colleague posted footage of the aftermath of this attack , I was compelled to watch, not out of curiosity, not out of voyeurism, but because I have experienced first hand the total devastation such crimes have on families and communities. I have been to the post mortem examinations, walked into the homes of grieving families. And do you know the words of an amazing man always come to mind. Julian Headon, (RIP). Julian was my boss the Detective Inspector in charge of the North London Trident Murder Investigation team. He used to say that we were in a priveledged position to be able to investigate the Murder of a young man and bring his killers to justice, give his family the closure they deserve. Our team achieved a near 100 percent conviction rate of the murders we investigated. 46 for me. And getting back to Kendras post, when we took on a case those kids became our kids, their families became our families, only for a short while granted. But when it mattered most. The Trident Murder Investigation team is no more? Kendra talks about words falling on deaf ears, she does not have the monopoly on that situation.
My leaving comment which is encouraging is this,in watching the horrific footage of this incident I watched the officers at the scene, working as a team with paramedics, to save those young men. They did not know them or their stories, but for that short time those officers did what I did, they accepted those young men into their care and fought for them to keep them alive to prevent their families from defending into he’ll.. Many people I work with have not experienced this visceral and deeply affecting situation. I still struggle with it to be honest.
Wow. Deep words and a new level of respect for someone I class as a friend. *tips hat
Ironically when on the Trident Murder team I used to have to work on call every six weeks on the HAT car Homicide Action Team car, we would be called to the scene of any shooting or firearm enabled murder. Often we were amongst the first on scene.