Knife crime epidemic should surprise no one | Letters

Readers respond to articles covering the rise in knife crime that’s claiming the lives of more and more young men and boys

Three weeks ago my 16-year-old son and his friend were mugged in Norwood by a gang of seven youths who stole their phones, punched my son and threatened to stab him (Change school closing times to curb stabbings, say doctors, 7 November). Plainclothes police were there within minutes and the whole incident was caught on CCTV. It was 3.30pm on a Friday and the boys who attacked them were wearing hoodies/anoraks covering their school blazers. But they were obviously local (and two of them have been spotted since then on a bus in Croydon). So the police have footage of the boys (none of whom apparently is already in the system), including face shots, but have said they don’t have the resources to go into the local schools and identify them. And they don’t have any community police or liaisons with schools.

Meanwhile, last Thursday a 15-year-old was stabbed in Bellingham, on Friday a 17-year-old was stabbed in Clapham and on Monday a 16-year-old was stabbed in Tulse Hill. I cry in sympathy for their parents and in frustration that the boys who attacked my son have a growing sense of invulnerability and added confidence that they can commit bigger crimes and get away with impunity. Perhaps they’re already out there stabbing people; perhaps they’re just building up to it. Our city continues to serve teenage boys and young men badly. Now the police funding cuts mean the police are unable to get results even when they have the evidence. What chance does anyone have of feeling safe on the streets of London, especially if they’re young and male?
Tammy Boydell

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