Search blog for knife crime info

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knife crime statistics and knife crime facts

'Knife crime statistics' and 'knife crime facts' are among the most popular keyphrases that people have searched for on the Internet during the recent blitz of media coverage following a spate of tragic attacks.

But searches for ‘knife crime’ were by far the highest. And certainly, my blog saw a high rise in numbers of people studying this blog - often for about half an hour at a time.

Most thought provoking story of the past few days has been about no prison sentences handed down for shops and stores selling knives to children in the past five years.

In an article in The Daily Telegraph, a range of new, up to date knife crime statistics are published after research by the Liberal Democrats. Click the link to study more blade stats info.

As the summer holidays and good weather have started, searches now seem to be dropping away. I kind of pray this continues - it probably means there are less killings and woundings happening. Sad state of affairs.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

National service for knife carriers (but not in the armed forces?)

I was thinking about the idea of national service at the start of the weekend and it occurred to me it would be a good idea for this to happen... but some kind of service that is non-armed forces. Imagine loads of angry youths disarmed and put to use to serve the public, instead of their own warped priorities.

Couple of pointers from the Sunday Times today:

Home Office statistics show a crime with knives happens every four minutes.

About a third of murders are committed with knives - a figure barely changed for decades. But the age of people carrying and using them has come down from 19-25 into mid-teens.

From surveys, three main reasons hoodlums carry blades:
  • For crime
  • For protection (85% say this)
  • Have to do it to belong to a gang
And the police - apparently all they'll be able to do is:
  • visible presence
  • education
  • consistent response
Read more from the Sunday Times interview with UK knife czar Alf Hitchcock.

Important then that society unites against knife carriers and makes an impression to drive down knife crime statistics to much safer levels, in tandem with police action. Come on, let's go do it...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Map of knife crime statistics across England + Wales

'Blade Britain' - map of knife crimes in police force counties and areas across the UK; recorded blade crime statistics / figures (from the Daily Mail online).

Interesting to see that Sussex - a county that police claimed did not have a knife problem - records a total of 274 such crimes over a year. Bear in mind, I appeared on BBC radio this month to highlight that knives were being carried in Sussex. As well as reports I've had to my blog, these figures are also evidence that I was correct.

Monday, July 14, 2008

(Budding) killers + families targeted by Govt anti-knife crime initiative

Not a bad idea. Target 110,000 potentially murderous (?) families and their children. Think the Prime Minister is on to something here with his anti-knife crime initiative.

Important too he focused on the sufferings of devastated familes - their loss is irreplaceable and the pain cannot be put into words, probably ever.

Look closely at what he said to you out there who carry and wield knives:
  • Law enforcement is going to pursue you
  • Prosecution looks to be inevitable for you
  • You face severe punishment
  • Prison awaits you, else you'll be cleaning streets when you used to enjoy your reign of terror such as on Friday and Saturday nights.
If divine providence is with us, you'll be wearing orange overalls too. You should be seen as captured and clearing up a mess you helped create.

Makes you think how fortunate you are not to face execution, you knifing hoodlums.

Think we should watch and support Brown carry this lot through. I'm not sure if it's perfect but it's progressive, focused and unflinching.

The Tory view to round up everyone who carries a knife and imprison them doesn't seem practical. I would go back to a view that adults need to change too - but that's not to detract from how debating this matter does very little to help the families and friends of victims. I find it impossible to put into words - very little seems able to scratch the surface of grief those affected by fatal attacks are suffering.

You stupid stabbers... God help you. May those who you forced to mourn be comforted.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Knife crime - now the serious search for solutions

Latest knife crime statistics reveal there are now an average of sixty (60) serious knife attacks happening each day in the UK. But it seems the entire country is now debating how to tackle this menace - so that must be good.

The idea of a curfew - using legal steps to force young people to stay indoors, say, after 9pm - sounds appealing initially but I wonder if it is workable.

Parents poll backing curfews - Sunday Times front page lead

And Government measures will include, it is reported, so-called 'shock tactics' where criminals who use blades will be forced to visit people in hospital who have been injured by knife wounds. Seems a bit odd - stabber goes to hospital, sees bloodied victims (who won't love the experience, I imagine), immediately repents. Hmm - maybe it'll work for some but I suspect not for many others.

Listening to 'mature adults' debate this week, there's a common theme - that young people (and their families) are to blame, they need to develop a better moral compass.

I'm sure that could help, but that seems to be psychological transference - in part at least - to shift all responsibility onto young people and their parents.

It's no coincidence that much knife crime happens in the most poor parts of Britain. There is little for some of these people to work to achieve, especially in difficult economic times.

Who establishes the economic and business systems that provide, say, meaningful work and societal activities? The hallowed 'market forces', government programs and community groups are probably responsible for the bulk of them.

Well, to repeat what I've touched on at times in this blog, it is the adult world that is influencing these young people.

The massive marketing and sales machines of corporations, companies and government suck money out of households everywhere like a hoover, led by business and political leaders that pride themselves on high levels of aggression and competitiveness.

People end up feeling powerless against these monolithic money-sucking beasts. I imagine that's why the terrorists who felled New York's twin trade towers celebrated victory, finally delivering a massive message to a money-driven system they see as evil.

Corporations are about creating wealth with no moral, ethical or legal limits (do your own checks if you don't believe me); put most simply, the corporation's existence is about a pathological pursuit of profit and power. And governments across the globe have capitulated - all we, the public, have owned in the past is now privatised or will be, to be run by private for-profit enterprises.

No wonder the Christian Church (and other religions too) is attacked by business and governments - she seems to be the only organisation that can stand in the way of this use and exploitation of the human purely for profit. More in another post on this point.

Our society needs to take an investigative look at itself - how can downsizing (throwing people out of jobs), ceaseless, chaotic change in the world of work (the very place that should help achieve security) be celebrated as victories for democracy?

And let's not forget the credit squeeze carnage that's going on - what on earth is going to happen to all the people who are sub-prime mortgage defaulters? They'll be carrying knives next. And then there's the resultant massive price increases on mortgages in the UK that's coming... the hard-working, law-abiding mortgage payers are going to be supporting the whole darn economic system, while top bankers (rhymes with w...), economists and politicians enjoy huge salaries for creating a system that's collapsing. Ws indeed.

No wonder then this translates itself to the streets, where those without money, not welcome in the corporation set, find pathological ways to feel worth something by operating as some kind of 'power-crazed' knife carriers, gang members etc. There's little else they can feel involved with or in control of, is there? Maybe it's a macabrely more satisfying life, at least in the heat of the moment.

Thoughtful article by Jon Cruddas in the Sunday Mirror today about poverty, inequality, David Cameron and the Tories that highlights the societal problems this country faces:

"David Cameron went to a school where the fee alone is more than double what someone on the minimum wage gets for a year of graft.

"It's a lot easier to stay healthy and in work when you're born into that kind of money, so he should be a bit careful lecturing the rest of us. He has no real knowledge of generational poverty or poor public services that you have to rely on... or the numbing effects of a chronic lack of social mobility and real opportunity... nor the day-to-day grind and struggle to make ends meet...

"I don't buy the idea that people living on the minimum wage or less are there because they deserve it, while people like Cameron are rich because they tried harder... The Tory view is that you fend for yourself, and if you fall down, well, it's sad, but it's your own fault.

"I take the opposite view - we're stronger when we work together than we are on our own...

"Take family values for example.
Cameron says he's for them. But if you're a mum working 40-odd hours in a shop, you need the flexibility to take a few days off if your kid has stressful exams or is ill. A good parent wants to help their kid revise or get well again - but at the moment only parents with decent jobs and good wages can afford to take the time off... That's what real family values are about.

"Inequality is the fundamental issue. The richer someone is, the longer they are likely to live - it's poverty that's the real killer. Behind Cameron's repackaging of the Tories is the same old brutal right-wing dogma." Read more of this article

And I'm not saying don't vote Tory - Iain Duncan Smith made some good points today on Sky News. He heads up the Conservative focus on looking to solve social exclusion and poverty problems.

He said: "The short term is being tough on these kids... but the longer term is saying the communities they are coming from, where their whole set of values is so inverse, that the whole idea of working, the whole idea of responsibility, just doesn't exist.

"You have got to change all of that as well, so don't just attack them and want to put them in prison, we have actually got to start sorting out this dysfunctional lifestyle."

As I've indicated I don't think blaming others for their lifestyle is quite hitting the mark - I believe adult society has a part to play changing how it lives; less aggression in business, less road rage, less alcohol, less rudeness, less focus on profit.

And I'll point this out again... why should young people work at crap jobs that pay abysmal money providing little cash for leisure time use? No wonder they head for the cheap vodka at Tesco; most of the adults do that too. At present, many of us are working for greed-induced shareholders desperate for as much profit as possible while the average young person isn't going to be able to afford somewhere to live for a couple of decades these days, if at all. Why should many want to conform to the current system? As the injustice mounts, civil disobedience will surely develop - history teaches us this has always been the case.

This global society's drive for profit, especially the corporate-type empires, seems to be impoverishing many, making us little more than slaves to corporate - and goverment-led - money-making machines (and when I say government, I refer to the huge 30-50-plus per cent we pay in taxes, National Insurance, VAT etc).

I'm just trying to encourage broader thinking. We have to consider if this is the progress and systems we want for life on our planet. Me? I reckon we all want something better, we just don't know what it is or how to do it.

Bit of a Sunday afternoon meander and reflection on things; but - back to violent crime - I'll never defend those who use violence and weapons... but, all you with power and influence, it's not just 'young peoples fault' or the fault of their families.

What I reckon we can also say at this time is that knife crime has been a long time coming, and it's going to be a long time fixing it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tragic toll of four stabbing victims in 24 hours - July 11 + 12

STOP PRESS: the BBC website has just published the names of four victims killed by stabbings in the last 24 hours.

A tragic toll of four in a day!
And a fifth man
is in a critical state, fighting for his life, from stab wounds to his stomach and back. See Sky News coverage

For God's sake, let's stop this. All must work for solutions - unity is powerful. Speak up, make demands, criticise, be tireless - but do remember to take care of your energy levels. Never give in.

Ref: the BBC radio breakfast show interview I gave, I thought I'd post some of my notes that I prepared for it. I wasn't able to cover all of this in the short time available but it provides information about why this blog is set up and its objectives:

Notes - this blog was set up with three broad aims:

One – to be a living, breathing memorial to Jacky Marshall, a superviser from a McDonalds at Chichester Gate who was viciously and fatally stabbed one Saturday lunchtime in April 2005 in front of a packed restaurant.

My two daughters loved her. She was simply the best person I’ve ever known work in a restaurant, always attentive, chatty and friendly. She used to fuss over the girls, always giving them balloons and toys whenever we popped in for Happy Meals.

Two – to be a useful online resource, always on 24x7, packed with information and news for anyone interested in trying to stop this UK scourge, to try to make society safer.

I try to make it contemporary and sometimes a little bit controversial to generate views, and have aimed to carefully select online resources about knife crime to inform and help with the debate, as well as help people affected.

Wherever possible, I aim to more intelligently interpret knife crime developments, better than the sometimes time-pressed, soundbite style many of us can experience via the mainstream media.

Three – I place some focus on those that carry knives. These people seem to experience some power and control when they carry knives. I think it important that those carrying knives need to know it is not tolerated by our society - and that no-one thinks they are powerful in any way, rather - they are fools. There is no kudos or an ounce of credibility carrying a knife. It’s just plain stupid.

That said, these people are a danger to innocent people; they threaten our lives, so disarming them must be handled with care.

What I’d say to people hearing this is to visit the blog. I work in online and search marketing so have worked to ensure the blog is easy to find on the Internet – just go to Google or Yahoo and type in 'knife crime blog'.

Read a few posts and click on the various links to websites that I’ve placed there; then just think about what you could do. Then I’d say simply do something (anything) peaceful + positive to add to what is a massive groundswell out there against violent crime.
  • Perhaps offer comfort by writing to those affected or commenting on blogs
  • Report criminal acts to the police (anonymously if necessary via Crimestoppers)
  • Maybe you could find an opportunity to influence knife carriers through youth work
  • Just this week I came across a website that allows people to light virtual candles in memory of those who have died from knife, gun or related gang crime. Why not do that? Here’s the link to that site: 'Gone too soon' - and I've added it to the right nav area of this blog.
One thing I have noticed with the many stabbings and shootings is the mounting number of online website memorials.

The Internet is filled with poignant - and often overwhelmingly upsetting – tributes to the dead from friends and family of victims, as well as complete strangers moved to contribute their condolences and sympathy.

It’s quite obvious that such killings devastate the lives of the living. The deaths leave unimaginable emotional suffering from irreplaceable loss.

I just had a note thanking me for putting up a tribute video to a young lad called Martin Dinnegan, killed aged just 14.

What happened to Jacky, that frenzied stabbing, gives me the motivation to carry on with this. When I think back on that awful event, on how one human being can summon the will to stick a blade into someone else and kill them, it’s just plain wrong.

Such acts cause never-ending pain, shock and devastation to families, friends and whole communities. It's just got to be stopped.

How likely is it that the knife crime statistics can be reduced to low levels? I don't know - but unless we're part of the solutions, we're probably part of the problems.

I must emphasise that people mustn’t put themselves in danger; don't fight someone or groups who are armed with knives, guns or other weapons just because you are angry and want to fight back – admirable sentiment, but it’s not worth the risk to you.

Run away to live another day if you have to, get them in your sights in other ways, everyday where necessary, possible, and as time + life allows - write letters, articles, blog posts etc... the pen can be mightier than the sword.

BBC interview - looking for solutions to the knife crime menace

Knife crime blogger Mark Chapman was invited to BBC Broadcasting House in Brighton for the breakfast show to try to shine some light onto the weapons curse afflicting the UK.

Listen to the BBC knife crimes interview - click here for the mp3 file recording

Sitting opposite Mark was Southern Counties radio host Neil Pringle who, like most decent people in the country, was searching for answers that could lead to solutions to this mainly street crime-based problem.

The interview began with news that 18-year-old killer Aaron Aymer, from Wapping, East London, was starting a jail sentence for the murder of David Stunell (22) in Brighton a year ago - more here

Mark was introduced as a knife crimes writer journalist who started a blog after being deeply affected trying to help Jacky Marshall, a superviser at a McDonalds in Chichester, who was stabbed to death one Saturday lunchtime in front of children, parents and other fast food diners.

For more information, listen to the interview... And do study these blogs pages; there are many links to online resources about gun and knife crime including statistics information, insightful comments and thoughts focused on finding solutions, memorial websites - in fact, the list is becoming endless.

In the next post or two on this blog, I'm thinking to analyse UK and world society at large in an attempt to highlight the complex nature of trying to explain why young people use knives. It's easy to blame families, which I notice political leaders like David Cameron are quick to lay responsibility onto.

But I'm aiming to expand a view that much blame also lies with a UK (and global!) economic system supported by politicians (some, at least, on a gravy train-type career) that promotes greed, risk-taking, bullying and stabbing others in the back etc to obtain money and profit at any price.

Aggressive businessmen and women (and the 'aggressive employed' everywhere) need to wake up and smell the coffee that their styles of doing business are being reflected and emulated on the streets by some young people who are unable to obtain the trappings of wealth and prestige that the current economic system promotes as the type of success to aspire to. They are just demonstrating some less-than-savoury adult values and behaviours at street level.

I'm just listening to a Sky News piece where, err - how shall I describe him - backward-thinking Daily Express columnist Leo Mckinstry is advocating young people need National Service. Honestly, people pay much money to get Sky tv, you'd think they could find some intelligent people to put in front of a camera.

Let me be clear on Mckinstry's perspective... to stop killing, we line up aggressive young people to be killed. And not only that, we also put (presumably) many innocent, peace-loving young people who don't want to fight into a uniform with guns and knives.

What a stupid proposal - it's almost dangerous, irresponsible thinking and diverts us from finding proper, appropriate solutions. Two things come to mind initially - punishment is needed, as is work to prevent more deaths.

Interesting to see what Gordon Brown comes up with next week in his much-publicised measures to tackle the problem of knives, guns and violence. An instant solution? I think not. Let's give him (yet another) chance to do a good job as Prime Minister - we look forward to something great.

Anyway, more later on this blog - with a bit more evidence and careful thinking...

Friday, July 11, 2008

'Join Anti-Knife Campaign' plea from friend of stabbing victim Martin Dinnegan

A young person has contacted me to publicise a 'justice for victims' campaign to press the government to put killers behind bars for life. To put it simply, this youth and friends want life sentences to mean life, not a few years.

As a friend in mourning for the tragic death of Martin Dinnegan, this youth makes a very important point that, to be honest, I have felt too:

Quote from Martin's friend: "I have read many cases in which justice has not been served to the families of those victims left behind. Life sentences are becoming ridiculous, knife crime is becoming ridiculous, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Our country seems to be more interested in the public relations and problems of other countries rather than the problems of our country."

While some criminal teenagers carry knives, with nothing at all worth aspiring to, it seems, than sticking a pointed blade into another human being, the voice of law-abiding youth here seems to be clearly articulating systematic failure of the government, its politicians, civil servants - and employers too - to ensure a safe, just and fair society for all.

Please visit the anti-knife crime campaign in memory of Martin Dinnegan and Ben Kinsella - VOTE NOW to support or oppose the campaign.

And to try to promote the campaign further, please 'Digg It' by clicking here - life should mean LIFE.

One point is clear: our governors are failing to satisfactorily respond to the voice of the electorate. People who carry weapons - or much worse, use them to kill or maim - are not wanted in law-abiding society, period. THEY NEED TO BE REMOVED.

I'm not an advocate of capital punishment - we can hardly stand on higher moral ground than criminals where we lower ourselves to kill; we become almost as bad.

But a namby-pamby, cushy life in a cosy prison with all food + lodgings provided, as well as benefits paid for by hard-working taxpayers when they get out is, to be frank, unacceptable. A harder edge is required. Life's not easy for the law-abiding either, they should not be penalised.

Given the thousands of knife attacks each year - 60,000 according to current estimates - this is a very spectacular failure by our governors.

Elections come along fairly often, so we can use a peaceful, democratic vote to kick some politicians from office, but how do we influence civil servants in their ivory towers?

And employers carry responsibility for creating a work environment that's worth turning up for.

For instance, any company that fails to pay the minimum wage to young people deserves condemnation - and legal action... and that's just for starters, work-wise. Why would a young person turn up for a crap job that barely pays enough for a cup of coffee during leisure time? I'd take to the streets and protest too.

Anyway, don't hesitate - vote now with decent young people - keep adding your voice to the groundswell of so many against all types of knife, gun and violent crime.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

'Beat knife crime' - the London Evening Standard campaign

The Evening Standard has picked up my knife and violent crime blog post about Sal Idriss (see this post) organising a photographic exhibition to honour the 27 young people killed in London last year. Sal passed the blog post link to a contact there.

View the story: Sal's project to present devastated families through emotional photography

I'd not noticed until now the Standard's five-point 'beat knife crime' charter. Here's a summary of it here - seems well-focused, see what you think:

1. More targeted high-profile searches backed up by more police with scanners on the streets, on public transport and inside and outside schools, with targeted patrols on routes to and from schools.

2. Train children in “peer-to-peer mentoring” and use citizenship and personal, social and health education to teach the simple message: respect cannot be won at the point of a knife.

3. Prosecute everybody found with a knife or using it to the full extent of the law: no more police cautions and no more second chances.

4. Use the toughest possible sentences on knife criminals: end the slap on the wrist culture which lets offenders walk free.

5. Make prison work with compulsory therapy for young prisoners in which they come face-to-face with the consequences of their knife, gun and other violent crimes by meeting victims and the doctors who treated them.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Photography exhibition for families of knife + gun crime victims

An internationally acclaimed photographer has contacted me to discuss thoughtful plans for a memorial exhibition celebrating, honouring and remembering the lives of victims of violence - killed by knife, gun (and gang) crime.

In his own words, here’s Sal’s message, especially for the family, friends and anyone else connected and affected by fatal violent attacks in the year 2007.

Exhibition: 27 December 2008

My name is Sal Idriss. My work is exhibited in the permanent collection of London's National Portrait Gallery and has featured on the covers the Guardian, The Times, GQ magazine, Mojo, and ES magazine. I write to you to invite you to participate in my latest photographic exhibition entitled "FAMOUS FOR THE WRONG REASONS", which is both the most ambitious and personal journey I have undertaken.

On December 27, 2007, my younger brother became the 27th young person to fall victim to knife and gun crime in Islington, Angel, and London. This devastating personal experience has heightened my awareness of the countless other families throughout London who, like my own, have witnessed the unfortunate loss of a loved one to senseless violence and criminality. By exposing the true impact of street crime on our communities and by putting real faces to generalized "victims".

My aim is to educate young people and use the emotional power of photography to deter those vulnerable to or already engaged in criminality. My intention is simply to present devastated families honestly. Not as names and numbers in the system, but as the families who are famous for the wrong reasons.

I plan an exhibition that highlights the families that were affected by the violence last year. A chance to grieve and honour the lives of those lost, including my brother. This will be a collective exhibition with a unique individualism as it explores the raw emotion and unique way in which different families mourn the loss of a loved one.

I plan on picking a location in each borough to project out portraits of the families affected, to humanise them.

I have facilitated photographic workshops with young people at Pyramid Youth Development Project (PYDP) and FBMF to create a portfolio of images for the exhibition for the National Portrait Gallery, Education Department on two photographic exhibitions, titled:

“Circling The Square” an exhibition about the history of the Trafalgar Square, 13 September 2003 - February 2004

“Local Heroes” an exhibition about 9/11 incident in 2001 and the exhibition was a year later in conjunction with Vanity Fair Magazine, USA, 2002

Participants: Ben Yiga, Thelma Lavery, Emanuel Ferris-Hue, and Travis Lewis.

To realize this project, my aims are:

* Camera film, development and exhibition prints
* Exhibition posters to advertise projection
* Video footage of the research
* Advertising - posters on London Buses, Bus stops, Train stations, etc
* Travel expenses to the locations of the families


1. To locate and have access to 27 families who lost a loved one to gang, gun, and knife crime in London last year
2. Spaces / locations in the 27 areas which are able to accommodate large crowds and the projection of large images, such as onto the side of a building or projection board
3. Press and publicity – access to national and local newspaper and magazine networks
4. Costs of producing a website to replicate the exhibition online
5. Contact with local youth worker volunteers and assistants to help with promotions before the opening date and the running of the exhibitions
6. Book publication / publishers for educational books with a DVD footage of the interviews of all the families

This is a free public event and it is my intention that this exhibition reaches the largest possible audience.

Here follows the tragic roll call from last year that Sal plans to record using his photographic talents:

Sal Idriss | F.F.T.W.R
Murdered Victims Families to be Photographed

1. Jan 1 - Stephen Boachie, 17 - Ghananian born A-level student stabbed to death on his way home in Barking. Hoped to study engineering at Birmingham University

2. Jan 19 - Dean Rashid Lahlou, 18 - Budding young businessman stabbed to death in Tottenham

3. Jan 24 - Jevon Henry, 18 - St Lucian born student stabbed to death of St John's Wood.

4. Feb 3 - James Andre Smartt-Ford, 16. Shot twice outside Streatham ice rink.

5. Feb 6 - Michael Dosunmu, 15 - Model pupil shot dead - two days after celebrating birthday - in case of mistaken identity in his bedroom by two intruders who burst into his Peckham home.

6. Feb 14 - Billy Cox, 15 - Shot dead in his bedroom at his Clapham home by a rival drugs gang.

7. Mar 14 - Kodjo Yenga, 16 - Chased up the road in Hammersmith by a young gang of youths wearing school blazers. The schoolboy was knifed in the heart and leg.

8. Mar 17 - Adam Regis, 15 - Promising sportsman and talented schoolboy and cousin of Olympic athlete John Regis. Stabbed to death in a late night attack while alone on a Plaistow street following a night out with girlfriend

9. April 6 - Paul Erhahon, 14 - Schoolboy stabbed fatally in the chest in Leytonstone.

10. May 18 - Dwaine Douglas, 18 - Stabbed to death during a street fight in Thornton Heath

11. June 12 - Danielle Johnson, 17 Bullied teenager stabbed and beaten in May 28 in Bounds Green. She died later in hospital on June of her injuries.

12. June 19 - Sian Simpson, 18 - Ambushed and stabbed to death in a clash between two groups of girls in Croydon.

13. June 23 - Ben Hitchcock, 16 - Schoolboy stabbed to death in Beckenham. Attacked by a group of gatecrashers who invaded a house party.

14. June 23 - Annaka Pinto, 16 – GCSE student shot dead after trying to calm down an argument in a Tottenham pub.

15. June 26 - Martin Dinnegan, 14 - Stabbed after being attacked by a gang in Holloway.

16. June 26 - Abu Shahin, 18 - Chased by a group of men and stabbed to death in Ilford.

17. July 26 - Abukar Mahamud, 16 - Shot fatally in the neck after being executed by boys on pedal bikes in Stockwell.

18. Aug 3 - Nathan Foster, 18 - Youth worker and equestrian shot dead trying defuse a row in Brixton.

19. Aug 30 - Mohammed Ahmed, 17 - Guinea born teenager was stabbed to death in the street in Newham.

20. Sept 16 - Edvin Johnson, 19 - Student stabbed in the leg after he was attacked on a stairwell in Camberwell.

21. Oct 7 - Rizwan Darbar, 17 - A-level student stabbed in chest for his mobile phone in West Ham Park.

22. Oct 14 - Philip Poru, 18

23. Nov 14 - Etem Celebi, 17

24. Nov 17 - Biendi "Bobby" Litambola, 17

25. Nov 30 - Jack Large, 14 - Schoolboy stabbed to death in Chigwell after getting involved in a fight

26. Dec 15 - David Nowak, 16, stabbed to death following street brawl in Somerford Grove Estate, Hackney.

27. Dec 27 - Nassirudeen Osawe, 16 - stabbed to death in Upper Street, Islington.

Sal's contact info:

T: +44 (0) 7981 229 549
T: +44 (0) 207 704 8219

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Step-by-step: the war on deadly weapons - knives and guns - today makes real progress

As the pressure wave of media focus on knife crime reaches a level appropriate to the destruction, harm and hurt that evil blades can wield, it is heartening to see the news headlines today.

Thousands of people cannot die or be attacked without a caring society taking action - and now we see a pretty significant milestone, probably.

When the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (Sir Paul Stephenson) says knife crime is the top priority in London, anti-knife campaigners know they have made some real progress.

Read more here: The Times Online - Knife crime replacing terrorism as police focus

Sad that it seems quite a late response from such an important, senior level. Shame on them, perhaps. This is often endemic of bureaucracy and a dinosaur mentality in organisations such as the police, government and corporate companies. For ages it seems, they are paralysed to act properly for the common good. We deserve better for the (public) money spent keeping these people in jobs supposedly protecting and serving the public.

They need to change (that's another entire blog to be built another day).

But now we see those of influence - some with fancy titles and honours - being seen to be doing some right things... thank god.

Let's keep up the pressure - let's force, cajole, encourage etc the knife, gun and violent crime figures to plunge. Keep communicating - peaceably but firmly - for positive action; never give up - the lives of those gone before us deserve nothing less.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Knife crime death - YouTube video tribute

The knife crime landscape in the UK is a pretty tragic one. This cannot be more poignantly illustrated than a anonymous comment I've just added to this blog.

Think it's only fitting to highlight such an important message. It's about a 14-year-old lad - Martin Dinnegan - knifed to death in Islington, north London.

The message was a simple one: RIP Martin Dinnegan - with a link to his tribute video. You can now view a tribute to his life via this blog, using YouTube technology:

You can read more about Martin's case via Google search. This Martin Dinnegan article on the BBC website is probably a good summary of a very tragic knife crime. God bless, try to have a good night... it's not bad everywhere.