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London’s Weapon Of Choice…Knives?

It takes a lot to get between me and my food…especially some succulent chicken and lamb with a bit of chilli sauce from my local kebab shop (it’s very much an English tradition). And last week, not even a hot-headed teenager threatening to smash up the shop was gonna put me off. I was the only other customer in the shop, whilst he was trying to climb over the counter and attack the kebab-shop worker. So what he angry about? The worker had taken 20 seconds too long to put his hygiene cap on before serving him. Mr. Hot Head couldn’t have been more than 16. But finally he gave up trying to get over the counter and left. But it’s this kind of temper amongst kids that’s causing so many problems here in London. Once or twice a week you’re guaranteed to read in the papers about another teenager having been stabbed to death on the streets. In fact — 20 have died in London since January. The youngest was just 14.

So police have started a blitz on the buses and trains, confiscating weapons. The biggest haul was on a bus at the bottom of my road (and trust me, it’s one of the nicer parts of town). They found 60 knives on a bus taking kids home from school.

Well now everyone’s become an expert on “youth crime”… you turn on the telly (television for my US readers) and there’s always some Tom, Dick or Harry with “the answer.” It’s the parents fault! It’s the school’s fault! It’s the government’s fault! It’s hip hop’s fault! It’s the media’s fault! It’s TV’s fault!

But it’s not about playing the blame game, it’s about finding answers.

I adore London, I’ve lived here all my life. And yes — I do feel safe. But how do you stop kids killing kids? How do you tell teenagers who don’t give a crap about taking another person’s life, that it’s actually wrong? That it’s just not worth it?

With 20 teenagers down, and more to go — there just doesn’t seem to be an easy answer.

—Miss London Party

Like Miss London Party’s perspective, read the rest of her posts here.

image of Henry Bolombi: London's first teenage knife murder victim of 2008 via
UK Daily Mail

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