This evening Chuka joined local community members and stakeholders all working to prevent serious youth violence and knife crime for an open public meeting at Dunraven Secondary School in Streatham.
The meeting follows a series of 11 stabbings within Lambeth in the four weeks leading up to mid-May, and since the beginning of the year over 114 incidents of serious youth violence in Lambeth, and 2300 across London. Each of these numbers is a young person being stabbed and potentially losing their life.
Chuka said Lambeth and other regions affected by serious youth violence were witnessing “a huge tragedy, wasted lives and devastated communities. If we were talking about middle class kids, this problem would be on the front page of every national paper for a number of weeks.
But because we are talking about young people from deprived neighbourhoods, people just think ‘Oh well. That’s what you’d expect’. This is just wrong and I’m glad to see so many come together this evening to campaign for more to be done.”
The public meeting included a discussion of how we can start to tackle serious youth violence, including a return to neighbourhood policing, properly funded youth services and mental health services and support, and addressing the social deprivation in many of the areas most affected by youth violence.
The meeting was organised by Crimestoppers and the Sunday Mirror as part of a campaign to address increases in knife crime across London and other parts of the UK.
Chuka was joined by expert panellists Kevin Southworth (MPS Head of Trident Command), Junior Smart (SOS Gangs Project), Sheldon Thomas (Gangsline), Dr Emer Sutherland (Clinical Lead for Emergency Medicine, Kings College Hospital), and Adrian Tudway (Crimestoppers).
You can read more about Chuka’s work to bring focus to the issue of serious youth violence in his recent interview for the Brixton Blog here.