On London Youth Crime


Hello Good People who read this blog

This is a comment I put on a Channel 4 blog in response to the “Disarming Britain” programmes last night which I thought I would copy here. I hope my son doesn’t mind that I write about him but then he asked me to write this blog to try and point out how our society has changed.

“When I watched Channel 4 last night , all the programmes about youth and knife crime I broke down and cried. It surprised me to react so strongly but I feel we have failed our children so badly.
I could have told you 15 years ago that London youth was heading in this direction.
15 years ago I took my son out of school and home educated him to protect him from violence and attack from boy gangs in school and in the streets to and from school.
I was a single parent and was given an extremely hard time by the authorities both of us were. For years he had been brutalised in school by gangs which they mistakenly called “bullying” and their attitude was always to say that he was bullied because I was a single parent and didn’t look after him properly. It was all my fault and they took no responsibility for controlling the gangs in the school or even acknowledging that they existed.
One of my son’s friends was murdered, shot dead last year for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a sweet caring intelligent peaceful young black man.
I bet those responsible were in a gang and “bullied” other children in school, I bet no one really did much about it.
After I took my son out of school a couple of years later I sent him to Southwark College when he was repeatedly threatened with knives and was attacked. The response of the college when I had a meeting with them was to say that he was being paranoid and imagining it because I was over-protective and clung onto him as a single parent. At Southwark College , this was 12 years ago now, my son’s black friends often brought not just knives but machetes and other weapons into the college, these were the nice kids. They carried these weapons to college because they were so scared. The staff working there and the other schools my son attended were always in denial and basically were more concerned with league tables and Ofsted inspections, many parents like myself who complained were told we were the problem and that there was no problem in the school.
They really were nice polite kids but the mainstream society was/is all about money, appearance, getting ahead, I’m alright jack, competition.. ..no morals basically since Thatcher got in.
What do you expect?
I am of the “love and peace” generation but we were blamed for loose morals, well a fine mess the money -and- TV- fame-and-appearance-is-everything culture has made, I prefer love and peace and understanding and being creative as ethics.
As a result of taking my son away from the violence in schools and home educating him he did extremely well at University and is now a University lecturer himself in Germany. He has sworn never to come back and live in the UK due to the crime and the ” Zero Tolerance” of the police and CCTV cameras which only alienate youth further and doesn’t give them a better place to grow up.
In my opinion we need to make community a priority and let groups of youths have some control and power over their lives , to get them to help set up youth clubs with creative activities that can make them feel good about themselves and give them better ethics.
I also think parents should encourage activities with their children, family activities so that their children do not spend their whole time playing violent computer games getting wired and de-sensitising them from violence. Also to help girls as much as boys as they are also suffering from this rubbish culture we have adopted from the US, we need to look more at cultures where young people are not so troubled , watch less tv, get families to spend more time sharing activities with their children. Families need some help too, if everything is so expensive that parents are either desperate or both parents have to work what do their children get up to? There’s just not enough help out there for families and their children. Not enough good summer holiday facilities for growing children who might be alone for 6 weeks of the year from 11 years old onwards while Mum and Dad are at work.

Love and Peace to you all. Good luck, empower youth with guidance don’t disempower them.”

Born2rant

P.S. They say it takes a village to bring up a child but just look at how many people actually “get involved” or care about what is going on in some sections of London and other cities.

How difficult is it to grow up in a complex stressed out city where crowds of people are anonymous and education systems and laws are constantly changing ,many situations are transitory providing no emotional security.

( I apologise for the inappropriate content of the generated links below! I hope that they change them).

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7 Comments

  1. Me again – it’s likely I’ll comment a lot!

    I’m sorry to hear your son was bullied on a number of occasions but glad he did well. I think a lot of people are affected by youth violence – I knew a friend of a friend who was stabbed to death about a decade ago. When I hear this stuff on the news now I feel less shocked due to how every day it is, but still fearful for people.

    There seems to some kind of Mexican standoff regarding youth violence. It’s going to take something special than zero tolerance for this to change. I heard once some kids turn to violence as an expression of a troubled life, but then other kids copy them so it swells like an inflammation.

    I agree schools don’t care. I don’t think any of my teachers had a direct feeling for my welfare or my future and as a result I never pursued the academic route further. This was compounded by exam fraud. .i.e. GCSE Science papers were lost so everyone in my year was awarded at least C (inc. those that never came to the exam) or higher if they were deemed as bright pupils. This was never made public but us and teachers knew.

    I too think not enough for kids to do, not enough support and video game culture – of my own generation indeed – has made things as messed up things. There’s too much bureaucracy and less human heart in how we treat other people.

  2. Hello Mo

    Thanks again for your comment.Your contribution is invaluable. It’s very depressing but when you reach such a low point then things can turn around. There seems to be such a huge gap between the rich and poor. I know children from extremely rich backgrounds and they wouldn’t have a clue about violence in schools or in certain streets.
    I cannot believe it has taken the media 15 or more years to realise that children carry weapons to protect themselves in Colleges and schools. It has been swept under the carpet for a long time.
    Anyway as well as writing about it we all need to do what we can to make this society a bit more communicativeand caring and think of solutions that don’t involve just another set of laws.
    Love and peace
    Born2rant

  3. […] On London Youth Crime « Born2rant’s Weblog When I watched Channel 4 last night , all the programmes about youth and knife crime I broke down and cried. It surprised me to react so strongly but I feel we have failed our children so badly. […]

  4. After watching kids, knives and broken lives I was so suprised at how insightful those kids were. Instead of society repeatedly putting teenagers down, lets actually listen to them and work with them. They have nothing…nothing but each other to look up to and learn from. But they know what its like to live out there and so their experiences are something we can learn from. Lets give them some responsibility and meaning in life to make a change by involving them in youth schemes and rehabilitation.

  5. Thanks for your comment Tabs

    Yes we need youth schemes but in the end giving teenagers attention and guidance doesn’t have to be done “officially” or need a lot of money.
    It’s the desire to build communities and make activities cheap or free and not to sweep problems under the carpet. To protect the peaceful young people and try to get the others to mature before they end up in jail or harming someone.

    Strangely this is how the Boy Scout movement started. Baden Powell had seen a lot of boys on street corners, getting into crimeand gangs because there was nothing for them to do and he decided to use his army experience to start the Scouts and taught them how to survive in the wilderness and how to look after their health, how to help others etc…

    Every generation and every era needs to find its own solutions and so the Scouts might be out of date now but something else could be invented. I think these things would work better if they were started by individuals who are not the government or school or “official”.
    There’s far too much “us and them” mentality in our society.
    Teenagers are our future society and so all of them the law-abiding and non-law abiding need to be guided and helped to gain the confidence to grow and make our society evolve too, they need to feel part of it and feel that they can change things and be important. At the moment there are so many laws and so many “shoulds and shouldn’ts ” in the media and in our heads that it’s not very helpful.
    Our willingness to change things comes first and hopefully some solutions will come later, but anything to improve community “should” be encouraged.
    In this country you can’t even run a folk club without a very expensive music licence ( if you can get one) and it’s things like this that makes life harder for those who need community based thing to go to. So many things are regulated or banned or cost too much money and in the end people give up trying.
    Instead of focussing on money and regulations we need to prioritise community in all urban planning decisions.
    Anyway it looks like Channel 4 has linked to my site which is a bit scary!
    Nightie Night!

  6. 2008 begins with little abate in the medias’ reporting of murders, particularly the demographically highlighted, I stress the murders was always happening, however it seems that government policy may well be changing (in means of reporting) not necessarily addressing the core reasoning or histories of this pattern and more crucially its alignment with America’s socio-economic and racial policies, determined on a basis that postulated that certain racial groups had a limited capacity for learning, culminating in a passive genocide (or mentacide); passive (or secondary) in terms of the conceptualisation of the guilt of the victim, arresting a black social theory, acting as a catalyst for the influx of Crack cocaine and arms into areas designated by their racial socio-economic make-up, the belief that lending resources to a education policy that genuinely addresses consistent deficits across racial grouping. This system is evident in the U.K, however seemingly mutated so that the factors compounded in low socio-economic groups face a struggle that the black contingency have known well for decades…Life without true unarrested depth; where there is no tomorrow.

    The fingers point at Black culture; where non-black children are seen as acting black – the point here is that sociality wishes the words Black and Ghetto to be interchangable…when there were no such ghettos pre-slavery. Moreover, the micro reflects the macro; whereby countries possess significant arsenals to prevent other countries using their significant arsenals = “World Peace”, where I grew up the council estates was our world…Bless

    P.S

    More will be done when more significant people die…

    Marc of the Infirmary

    http://www.myspace.com/infirmarycompton.com

  7. Hello there Marc

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t know if I am clever enough to understand it all but I understand bits of what you are saying.
    Thanks for your perspective, I think it’s good to hear different angles on the subject.
    Take care,
    PEACE and Love!
    Born2rant


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