Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘knife crime’

Young Lives Lost

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 30th July, 2017

gun crime smallLast night, shortly after dinner, we heard gunshots not far away from the house, followed by police sirens, and this morning the story was all over town. An 18-year-old youth had shot dead another and wounded a couple of girls. The attacker was in turn shot by police and wounded, but not critically. He will doubtless now end up in prison — which in Brazil all too often means a struggle for survival in an overcrowded and brutal environment controlled by its own, often vicious codes. It’s because of night-time insecurity that we hardly ever go out after dark in Fortaleza, but instead sit snug and safe behind locks and grills, reading. In the daytime, it is a different world, a sunny resort where families peddle up and down the promenade behind the house on various fantastic bicycles. But then comes the night. Gun crime is a serious problem in many of Brazil’s cities, but before Europeans feel superior about our own native countries’ relative security, it’s worth pointing out that there are areas of my original hometown, Manchester (notably Moss Side) where guns can be obtained relatively easily. In London, we tend to hear more of knife crime and there has been a depressing surge in attacks with knives in the city. Almost always, the victims are teenagers themselves, so just as with last night’s shooting here in Fortaleza, young lives are lost. before they have really begun. And in a sense the same is true for the perpetrators. Such a tragic and unnecessary waste.


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Knife Crime in London

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 12th July, 2008

Lewisham West & Penge LibDems hosted a pizza and politics this evening on the theme of knife crime in London, in the wake of a whole seres of juvenile stabbings. As Dwayne Brooks (the murdered Stephen Lawrence’s good friend) and anti-knife campaigner Victor Ofosu (who has done work with Simon Hughes) were both present, there was a lively discussion. Much was spoken about ‘respect’ and ‘belonging’, but also there were calls for practical steps, such as organising events that could serve as a weapons amnesty. Dwayne also raised the issue of working with the girlfriends of guys involved in knife crime — to get them to persuade their boyfriends that carrying a knife isn’t ‘cool’, and to tell them that they have no wish for any of their family or friends to be killed. There are probably no short-term solutions, but all political parties, as well as community groups, the police, churches and mosques can and should be involved in tackling this problem, not just in London, but throughout the country.


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