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May 14, 2008

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Rob

"How long will it be before Londoners start wondering if those promises are being kept?"

Who knows, but a bit longer than 14 days one might hope?

Don't forget, he has already appointed Ray Lewis and given him the task of establishing 100 Saturday schools to help troubled young folk who might be drawn in to gang culture so it's not as if he isn't already looking at cause as well as effect.

It will take time to do that, so whilst those programmes are developed, dealing with the knives on the street right now is very much a policing problem.

I enjoy your blogging Dave, but this post smacks of a need to be seen to be Saying Something, when simply reporting the Met's new crackdown (which you yourself agree with) would have done fine on its own without the little bit of churlishness at the end.

Tilley Harris

Saturday schools to help "troubled young folk". How about instead of sending in the troops by the dozen, stopping and searching every young male that is of ethnic minority and sticking up metal detectors on every street corner in London's boroughs worst effected by knife crime, the government and public stand back and take a proper look at these boroughs.

Domestic violence appears to be the biggest issue for the majority of deprived house holds in these areas.
In April 2006 52% of all council homes in Hackney were declared non decent, because the occupants couldn't afford standard repairs.
Hackney also has the third most serious overcrowding problem in the country.
Rates of tuberculosis in Hackney are as high as some developing countries.
Haringey is the most deprived district in England, 30% of all violent crimes reported in Haringey are domestic.
Tower Hamlets Councils anti-social behaviour hotline received 137 calls relating to racist incidents, 787 calls reporting hate crimes, and 4,000 reporting domestic violence between 2006 and 2007. I hope these numbers say enough for you Rob.

How can these children be expected to value others lives when it appears that society doesn't really value theirs. I guess they can think about that as they are being stopped and searched on their way to their Saturday school for "troubled young folk".

Tony Holmes - Beatbullying

Britain is facing a crisis of child-on-child violence and the prevailing attitude appears to be one of incoherent fire-fighting. Hard-hitting viral campaigns, metal detectors in schools, and tougher punishments for carrying weapons, are all good strategies which will hopefully have an immediate impact on violent youth behaviour, but they are simply prescriptive, stop-gap solutions.

Whilst we welcome these new measures to protect young people, we are acutely aware that they do not address the root causes of conflict and violent behaviours. Young people are using violence, fear and exclusion to intimidate and threaten others. It is bullying in its most extreme form. When bullying goes unchecked in our schools and communities, the breeding ground for gang culture prospers.

There have been 28 teenagers stabbed to death already this year. We also know that this year at least 20 young people will take their own lives because they are being bullied. Whether killed by another youth, or dying at their own hands, too many young people are being bullied to death.

What we need is a comprehensive, joined up, coherent strategy to educate our young people in conflict resolution, anti-violence and anti-bullying behaviour. Intervene early against bullying and we can affect the growing culture of knife crime and gang related behaviour. We know that poor inter-faith and inter-community relations, truancy, and violent behaviour are all linked to bullying. As a result, fully-inclusive anti-conflict and bullying prevention work is essential if we are to significantly address this dystopia in which our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbours, are being murdered and terrorised by someone else’s children.

Beatbullying realises that this is not a problem that can be solved in months, so where is the comprehensive five-year strategy from any of our political parties? The problem bridges all areas of society, so we need a cross-departmental response from Government. At the moment, despite the promises and the prescriptive acts, the lack of a long-term, joined up response based on education and prevention, is beyond belief. We need leadership and a strong Government must stand up for our youth now.

Education is the key, but the responsibility cannot lie solely at the feet of the teacher. Beatbullying and a coalition of expert organisations, can deliver proven conflict resolution, anti-violence and anti-bullying programmes into every school, intervening early to prevent the escalation into the youth crimes and murders we are witnessing on our streets every week. Beatbullying has calculated that it will cost £45million over five years, to deliver this work into schools and youth groups across the UK, reaching every child in this country.

The viral campaign launched yesterday will cost £3million, in the hope that it will shock youngsters into stop carrying knives. Who knows how many it will reach, or how effective it will be. It’s time to look beyond trying to patch up a problem with disjointed, prescriptive acts, and deliver a preventative solution to benefit every young person, and society as a whole, over the next five years.

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