Between 1999 and 2003, I worked with young people who were labelled as disaffected. My role at the time was to ensure that they utilised our services and assist them in changing certain patterns of their behaviour. Back then we predominately worked with young men aged 13-19, viewed at risk because they were truanting from school; had been expelled; or were known offenders. The gang culture amongst the young men that used our services was in full effect and the staff team and I would hear countless tales of violent encounters between our young men and rival gangs. Stabbings and shootings were frequent occurrences. Some of our young people were admitted to hospital as a result of stab wounds; one of our young men was stabbed which resulted in his death. He died alone in a ditch in South London .
When I hear media coverage of the young man(aged 17) who was found dead in a stairwell on the pelican Estate in Peckham, my heart bleeds. Yet another senseless murder. What had he done that warranted him dying in that way? This takes the total of teenager murders this year in London to 19.
Although I'm not condoning violence, couldn't this matter have been resolved with an argument and a punch up? How come a push doesn't result in a shove?
This topic is both emotive and a long way from being exhaustive. There are many variables to consider when we look at this subject matter. I invite you to share your experiences and views.
This Blog is in rememberance of all of those young lives that have been taken, through violent means.