London used to be a relative safe place to live in: crime was minimal and the worse mischief your young ones would get up to would be to get into a fist-fight, over a girl, or get drunk on cheap cider.
But not anymore!
In scenes unseen since the Sixty hey days of the Krays and Richardsons a new crime wave is gripping the capital – self-styled teenage gangsters.
Modelling themselves after gangs in America, these young tearaways have turned the capital into a gang-infested city: masked moped riders mug people in broad daylight and ram raid stores selling expensive goods; whilst feral teenagers knife and shoot eachother in rising turf wars. In 2017, alone, there were more than 13,000 reported cases of knife attacks. 2018 has seen more than 60 people lose their lives as a result of this knife and gun culture, surpassing, the homicide rate in New York for the first time.
Even before the London riots of 2011 there has been growing unrest and dissent amongst the teenage population of England: there has been a big sway towards gang culture. A recent Home Office study suggests at least 50,000 young people in Britain are in gangs.
A lot of reasons are given for this: a change in the family structure as we know it as most come from single-parent families. A high rate of unemployment is also a factor as many teenagers who don’t go on to further education don’t have jobs to go to. But the biggest problem of all is ethnicity.
A majority of the crimes in the capital is sadly committed by members of the Afro-Caribbean community. So serious is this that Scotland Yard has set up a special division, Operation Trident, to deal with them.
I’m of African descent so it’s not as if I’m stereotyping a particular race and I’m appalled every time there is a knifing or shooting incident involving a black person.Why?
Some would like to believe institutionalized racism has forced these young, mostly unemployed black teenagers into gangs and a life of crime. I don’t think so.
The problem runs deeper: the lack of suitable role models, mentors, social inequality and proper parents are some of the problems.
I’ll single out ‘proper parents’ for a reason: they say charity begins at home, a lot of Afro-Caribbean teens who get into trouble are from single-parent homes where child rearing skills are non-existent or minimal. This can be because the single-parent is busy working or absent from their child’s life. How many ‘Babymamas’ are roaming around with one or two kids from different men they can barely look after? And how many blackmen run around having kids with multiple women and not looking after them?
In my days when you left school you either got an apprenticeship, joined the armed forces or went on to university. Afterwards you would progress to getting a job, getting married, buying your first home, starting a family and working hard till you retire.
Leaving school now most young black youths are not interested in progressing through life as should be: they want to live fast and now! Without a doubt to live a glamourous fast life, with all the trimmings, you need to be in music or sports – or gangs: you don’t make that kind of money stacking shelves in Tesco! And as anybody knows if you live fast you’ll die young.
Looking for a family away from home they turn to their ‘brothers’ on the streets or in council estate alleyways. The gangs they join offers them the chance to live a ‘fast life’: there’s a lot of money to be made from mugging, drug-dealing and robberies and this attacks violence of the worse kind imaginable.
Putting more policemen on the beat, opening more youth clubs or trying to get them into jobs or further education won’t solve the problem.
To end the gang culture in London – and Britain – more has to be done to change the mindset of these wayward teenagers who believe their only salvation in life is joining gangs, killing each other and committing crimes.