The latest hand-wringing polemic from the ‘Guardian’ about black knife crime:
The best chance we have of sparing the next child from an early death is finding out why the last one died.
We certainly aren’t going to find anything new. Let’s start off with dysfunctional family:
Shirley raised Sean on her own for most of his life. She separated from his father when he started dealing drugs, but his father and paternal grandmother played an active role in his life.
And add to it a sense of grievance that people are punished for their crimes:
When Sean was in primary school, his dad was deported. This was the first time Shirley noticed Sean getting angry and withdrawn.
And then add a predisposition to violence:
At secondary school he seemed to be doing well academically, but before long he was expelled after an altercation with a teacher.
A dollop of peer pressure:
From there he was sent to a Pupil Referral Unit, which Shirley considered not an alternative academic environment but a dumping ground for children with behavioural challenges. She tried to get him moved.
“This is not the environment for my child,” she told them. “I know my child. If he is around people who are bad, he’s going to want to be the best at being bad.”
And a refusal to believe that being a little shit isn’t something medically curable:
Shirley had him assessed again by CAMHS, but she says that after a 20-minute interview he was declared fine.
“I’m not a professional,” she says. “But I don’t think you can assess in that short space of time.”
Then the reliance on the State to DO SOMETHING:
She put him in care, asking for him to be placed outside London, away from temptation. Instead, he remained in London and started getting into more serious trouble, including street robberies. She complained and lobbied. Emails received no response. It was around this time she first appealed to her MP to HELP ME SAVE MY SON!!!!. Further emails to Brent council over the next couple of years carried subject lines including “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH” and “UTTER DISAPPOINTMENT”.
And the inability of that State to do anything, preoccupied as it is with its own internal politics:
Brent council says: “An independent multi-agency review is now taking place. The council, along with other agencies involved, has been participating fully in this process to help us agree how lessons can be learned. … it would not be appropriate to comment further on any aspect of the case until this review is concluded later in the autumn.”
And then the overweening demand for criminals to have ‘rights’:
At one point Shirley asked for Sean to be put in a rehabilitation unit that he wouldn’t be able to leave. But, she claims, Brent said they thought the request would be denied by the courts because it would take away his freedom…
Plus the corrosive & negative effects of the rest of this blighted ‘community’:
Nine days before the murder, Sean explained, he had been beaten up by members of a gang. When he went to visit a friend, he was offered not a salve for this adolescent wound, but salt. His friend’s mother said: “I’ve never known you take a beating,” while his friend asked whether he would “take the violation”.
That same friend gave him the knife, ski mask and gloves. Sean took them to his foster home and left them under his bed.
And there you have a teenage murderer. Did you find out anything you didn’t already know?