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Radical Ideologies Fuel Youth Knife-Crimes in West Midlands

Mirror News Desk



West Midlands

The reports of knife-crimes against teenagers and younger children in the West Midlands have been escalating absurdly. Last week, a “weapons surrender bin” opened in the Hockley area of Birmingham, revealed a range of blades, including kitchen knives and the Southeast Asian curved knives: Karambits.

The regional Police Federation has warned that the murder rate in the West Midlands — 46 killings so far this year — is at the same level as the epidemic of deadly violence in London.

The latest fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old — Jaydon Washington James, who was killed because of his postcode — in Coventry on Saturday extended the number of knife killings of youngsters to six this year.

According to the media reports, five out of the six killed this year were from a black and minority ethnic background. Besides, the youngest were 8 and 11 years old.

Katie Wright, an A&E consultant and co-lead of children’s emergency department at Birmingham’s Heartlands hospital, said, “We are alarmed by the sheer number and we are alarmed by the ages of those involved.”

She informed that an 11-year-old from the recent patients carried a knife, as he felt unsafe in his area.

A landmark 2017 report on gangs and violence in the West Midlands stated that it was intricate to explain the rise in both gun and knife crimes in recent years. However, it listed various reasons cited by police, community groups, former gang members and others.

According to the report, the reasons listed included– role of social media and music, mental health issues, emergence of a “new generation of gangsters” known for impulsive acts of violence, and what was referred to as the “father deficit” by some of them.

Statistics reveal that by far there have been 118 murders in London this year, which the police Federation has compared with the West Midlands as per the population sizes.

Chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, Sgt Richard Cooke gave a sheer assessment of the police’s ability to prevent the rising rate of fatalities.

According to the government figures, since 2010 the force has lost more than 21,300 officers, amounting to 24 per cent in less than a decade.

A large number of murders are reported, as hate-motivated crimes have caused a major public concern. It’s a no hidden fact that radical sentiment in the UK is augmenting at a greater pace. Although there are multiple reasons for the rising knife-crimes and other violence acts in the country, majority of them are stoked out of hate against the minority groups.


Sydenham Shooting Highlights Failure of Gun Supply Control Methods

Mirror News Desk



Sydenham shooting

London once again became a witness to the unfortunate Sydenham shooting which shook everyone to the core. The shooting took place at the Sydenham Road in Sydenham at 15:45 as per the local time on Sunday.

According to the eye witnesses, the 25-year-old victim shot himself in the head after the bullet ricocheted off the window of a parked car. The incident is one of three horrific deaths that occurred in London within 12 hours.

Post the fateful incident in South London, another man in his 20s was found dead with a gun wound in the chest in Kentish Town of North London. As per the investigations conducted, none of the incidents are correlated.

A 56-year-old woman, who witnessed the Sydenham shooting, said, “He came to shoot someone else, but he ended up shooting himself. The bullet bounced off a car window. You can see on the car window where the bullet bounced off it. After it happened, the boy he came to shoot stood there filming him.”

“He’s been there for three hours covered by a sheet. No mum, no dad. It’s really sad,” she added.

The paramedics pronounced the victim dead five minutes after they arrived on the scene. In response to the incident, Labour MP Ellie Reeves offered her condolences to the victim’s family and claimed that the incident “shocked and saddened” her.

Another witness to the Sydenham Shooting, a shopkeeper by profession, said, “A group of guys were sitting in a car by the bank and a big guy came up to them with a shotgun. They all got out of the car and ran so the guy decided to damage the car with the back of the gun. As he was hitting the windows the gun went off and he shot himself – that’s what we’ve been told.”

Following the incident, the law authorities were authorised extra Stop and Search powers under Section 60 to prevent any further episode of similar event and to nab the suspects.

The Sydenham shooting and the incident in Kentish Town took place in midst of the law authorities issuing warning against the increasing supply of guns which has proved difficult to curb. According to Simon Brough, head of firearms at the National Crime Agency, the large number of firearms in the country indicate towards a threat that needs to be curbed at the earliest.

He said, “The scale is really challenging. We are doing everything we can but criminals are operating in a lucrative business where they can be increasingly innovative and operate in a highly effective way.”

Events like this indicate towards the need to introduce stern laws to curb crimes at the earliest.

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Alfie Lamb Manslaughter: Justice Served with Stephen Waterson Pleading Guilty

Mirror News Desk



Stephen Waterson

The adopted son of former Tory minister Nigel Waterson, Stephen Waterson, has finally admitted of being guilty in the gruesome act of crushing a three-year old toddler, Alfie Lamb in the backseat footwell of his car. Waterson pleaded guilty of killing Alfie, the son of his girlfriend Adrian Hoare at Old Bailey after initially denying manslaughter.

The incident took place last year in February, when the guilty and his girlfriend went on a shopping spree for cushions along with Alfie, 19-year old Emilie Williams, 22-year old Marcus Lamb and another young child.

The toddler was then put in the car for the journey back to home. It was then that 26-year-old Stephen Waterson reversed his front passenger seat into the kid as he sat at his mother’s feet, annoyed by the crying of Alfie Lamb. Waterson, who works at a night club, said “I won’t be told what to do by a three-year-old.”, when the three-year began to plead for help.

By the time, they arrived back in Croydon, the boy had collapsed and died three days later at the hospital due to irreversible brain injuries. During the investigation, both he and Hoare made a web of lies to pervert the investigation.

As the law authorities began to catch up their lies, Stephen Waterson provided an incorrect name and a false statement. He also sold his Audi car. He further threatened Hoare and other witnesses of making them “disappear”, if they told different stories about the fateful incident that struck, the three-year old.

Earlier this year, Hoare was released from manslaughter charges however, was sentenced for two years and nine months for being guilty of child cruelty. Judge Mark Lucraft QC sent Waterson in the custody to be sentenced on Monday, September 9.

Scotland Yard’s DCI Simon Harding, at the end of the hearing, said that Alfie succumbed to the “selfish and cruel act” and the hearing has at last “given Alfie a voice”. He said, “Stephen Waterson has come across as a selfish, abhorrent individual who killed a three-and-a-half-year-old child and has never stood up and said what has happened and taken responsibility for the actions he performed on that day.”

During the hearing at Old Bailey, Angela Moriarty, from the Child Protection Services said, “Alfie Lamb had been alive and well earlier in the day when he had been out shopping in Sutton. It was in the car journey back home that Waterson, with a callous disregard to Alfie’s safety, deliberately pushed his car seat back.”

“This was a harrowing and difficult case for all those involved, but finally justice has been served for Alfie,” she added.

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UK Supermarkets Sold Knives to Children, Reveals National Trading Standards

Mirror News Desk



National Trading Standards

A survey by the authorities of the National Trading Standards revealed that despite increasing knife crimes, supermarkets like Tesco, Asda, Poundland and Home Bargains are selling knife to children. According to the survey, each of these major supermarkets has sold blades to the kids below 18-years, minimum 15 times between April 2018 and March 2019.

Following the survey, Tesco and Asda have prohibited the sales of blades. On the other hand, Poundland has said that it is “baffled” by the results as it had put an end to sales of kitchen knives from October 2018. However, Home Bargains has not responded over the results yet.

Lord Toby Harris, chairperson of National Trading Standards, said “Restricting the sale of knives to children is clearly a difficult issue for retailers, especially those with large numbers of outlets, staff and delivery partners. I am aware that many retailers are working incredibly hard to train staff and introduce robust procedures to stem the flow of knives to children.”

“But let’s be clear – it’s illegal to sell a knife to a child. Our tests show that it’s still too easy for a child to buy a knife,” he added.

During the survey, Trading Standards asked kids under 18 to purchase the blades from these supermarkets. The test results showed that out of 2,231 times, the staff of these stores sold knives to the kids below 18-years, 344 times.

Similarly, National Trading Standards made 100 online purchases amongst which children were sold knives 41 times.

It is not for the first time that reports surrounding kids and blades have made the news. Earlier, the law authorities at the request of 5 News, under Freedom of Information, revealed that 1,144 instances were reported where children were caught carrying varied blades. The incidents were reported in 2018 across England, Scotland and Wales.

Following the survey reports, Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive Jason Tarry said, “Tesco takes the safety of our colleagues, customers, and the communities we serve very seriously. We have made significant changes to our approach to displaying and selling knives, without taking choice away from customers, including a new two-stage age verification process and removing knives from display on the shop floor.”

Curbing the rising knife crimes proved to be a herculean task for the government and the law authorities. However, figures revealed from the survey conducted by the National Trading Standards displays the need for stern laws and policies surrounding the sale of blades.

With this, the authorities might finally be able to ensure that the lives of children and teenagers are not in danger because of easy access to weapons.

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Knife Crimes Worsen with School Kids Caught Possessing Knives and Blades

Mirror News Desk



Knife Crimes

With the ever-increasing knife crimes in the UK, latest figures and reports claim that at least 1,000 children were caught in schools for possessing knives last year, the youngest child being just four-years-old. A total of 1,144 instances of school kids carrying knife were recorded across England, Scotland and Wales last year.

The authorities have not only seized machetes and hunting knives, but also a samurai sword and a highlighter pen, which had a blade instead of nib. This information alone shows how knife crimes continues to adversely affect the society and streets of the UK.

The law authorities released the figures under the Freedom of Information at the request of media channel, 5 News.

Furthermore, the crime rate has doubled in the last five years and offences have soared to 968 last year as compared to 372 in 2014.

The concerns have increased after reports of an 11-year-old in Manchester, threatening another student emerged. The kid had not only replaced the nib of a highlighter with a blade but also said, “Listen to me or else I’ll stab you” to the other kid.

David Simmons, a former teacher, set up the Changing Lives charity in Harlow, Essex to provide young people a chance to steer away from the world of knife crimes and violence. He said that he initiated the charity after he witnessed a six-year-old wielding a knife at a school in North London.

Recounting the incident, Simmons said, “He was threatening other staff members and saying that he was going to stab them so I’ve gone over trying to calm this child down. He’s then said he’s going to stab me and kill me.”

“At that age you just wouldn’t have thought that a six-year-old should be doing that. Why were they doing that?” he added.

A government spokesperson in regards with record number of blades obtained from children said, “No young person should feel the need to bring a knife to school, and our #knifefree campaign challenges the myth that carrying a knife makes you safer.”

“Our serious violence strategy focuses on steering young people away from knife crimes and we are also investing over £220m in early intervention projects,” he added.

On the other hand, Scottish government spokesperson in response to policies adopted to curtail knife crimes, said, “Scotland has adopted a public health approach to violent crime, tackling the underlying causes of violence and not just the symptoms.”

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Boris Johnson Announces Prison Funding to Curb Crime Rate

Mirror News Desk



Boris Johnson

Last updated on August 23rd, 2019

Boris Johnson has hardened his stance to curb down the crime rate and mitigate the appalling violence against police officers. Not only has he vowed to further expand police stop-and-search powers and toughen up prison sentences, he has also announced £100 million to put an end to prison crimes.

Even though some of these moves might appear to be a tougher stance than required, many MPs think that these steps might improve the ongoing crimes and violence. The Prime Minister, while repeating the statement which the home secretary Priti Patel made last week, also said that he wants the criminals to be afraid, instead of the public.

Boris Johnson announced the schemes to put an end to the violent crimes in an article on Sunday. The prime reason for publishing the article was to bring focus on the rising knife crimes and the appalling attack on the police officer with a machete.  

The attack on the police officer is not a first instance of crime against the law authorities. As per the records and new figures, violent assaults on police have increased by three times and 28 officers are being injured per day while on duty respectively.

Last year, a record 10,399 assaults were made on the police officers, leaving them injured and these figures have recorded a 32 percent jump from 7,903 recorded in 2015/16. These numbers are entirely different from the 20,578 assaults from which the officers escaped.

Tory MP David Davies in relation to the new stance of Boris Johnson on the rising crime rates and violence against law authorities, said, “These absolutely appalling figures underline the importance of much stronger prison sentences for those who commit violent crimes, especially those who attack frontline public sector workers, including police officers, in the course of their duty.”

The Prime Minister has also revealed plans to invest £2.5 billion to create 10,000 establishments to reduce the overcrowding situation of the prison. Johnson’s statement came in lieu of the announcement of recruiting over 20,000 police officers in next three years.

In the article, Johnson further stated, “We have the impression of a growing culture of insolence on the part of the thugs; and in the face of that sense of impunity – entirely misplaced – I believe the British public knows instinctively what we must do.”

“We need to come down hard on crime. That means coming down hard on criminals. We need to reverse the balance of fear. I want the criminals to be afraid – not the public,” he added.

The new hardened stance curbing the crime rate and crime against law authorities, if implemented, is surely expected to change the image of Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister.

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