VOL. NO: 52      DATE:
 
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AFRICAN ECHO NEWS

Bravo Met Police, but there’s more…

IN our modern society where the rate of crime is on the increase, we have to applaud the Metropolitan Police as much as we condemn the perpetrators of crime, and for that matter the knife culture – since there’s more we can collaboratively do to combat it’s wave: which rose from 17,730 (in 2005) to 42,000 (in 2006)

By giving credit to the Metropolitan Police and it’s associate agencies for launching Operation Blunt (O. B), it is also encouraging to speculate the success of the television and radio adverts coupled with the mock computer game, Knife City, which demonstrates the potential tragic consequences of carrying a knife.

And I hope the O.B exercise will continue to have a positive effect on it’s set target: age 11 – 19, part of whom is within the estimated 50 teenage victims (of knife crime) per week in the UK.

As part of the yearlong programme aimed at reducing knife crime, we are well aware that the Metropolitan Police launched a succession of Knife Amnesties (the call to the public to handout offensive weapons such as knife). Not to mention the rest of London’s 32 boroughs, Waltham Forest alone recorded 92 knives in the threeweek call to surrender.

Furthermore, the scanner or metal detector check staged at train stations and other public places across the capital was a step in the right direction – as it was indiscriminate of gender, religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, unlike the much criticised loopholed vehicle stop-and-search exercise.

By recovering hundreds of knives, the metal detector check has, to a certain extent, prevented crime and thereby restored confidence in our communities.

In spite of all the measures taken, with particular reference to the previous year, it’s yet apparent that some crooks, mostly school children have been slipping through the net; drawing knives to the threat/fatality of their local residents and schoolmates.

This calls for an attention to be given to the Violent Crime Reduction Act, which makes it illegal to sell knife to anyone under 18years. We could otherwise also suggest that parents should lift up their role as carers – against cases where children have carried knives from home to school or to the street.

If carrying a knife attracts a maximum 2-year sentence (which is true!), then in the matured observations of the conservative leader, David Cameron, I agree that there’s “lack of strong deterrent sentences for knife crimes”. At the murder of the lawyer, Tom Pryce, Mr Cameron blamed that “the failure of the police to stop profile criminals had played a role”. Still talking about law and order, he concluded that Britain has a “lax criminal justice system”.

A lax criminal justice system? We may or may not agree with him. Yet let’s be mindful that we don’t go political, but objective when public safety is at stake. More also we should be ready to respond to our civic duty when it comes to reporting suspicious carriers/crime indulgent activities of knife and sharp objects in general. That would make us proud Londoners working with the Met Police for a safer London.

With sympathy to all who have lost friends and relatives to the evil swords and blades, we join hands to say let’s preserve the remaining Anthony Walkers and Kiyan Princes of the African and Caribbean communities. Enough is enough, please!

 

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