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Saturday, July 12, 2008

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...

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