Behind many recent murders in London are young men who are traumatised and excluded….
Oh! I thought it was bloodthirsty street thugs. But what do I know?
The following night, members of the gang drove to Wandsworth, four miles’ north of Tooting. They were armed with a number of weapons, including a 27-inch (69cm) sword. In the early hours of the morning, they cornered Mahamed Hassan, 17, who was cycling past and stabbed him several times.
Mahamed’s cries alerted a resident who called an ambulance. Asked to check for injuries, the man lifted the boy’s top and saw that his intestines were hanging out. The boy died a short time later in hospital.
Four of the attackers were in custody within days and went on trial for murder at the Old Bailey at the start of the year. When all four were found guilty, one, Tyriq Aboagye, was clearly surprised.
“How can you find us all guilty,” he shouted at the jury. “Let me know coz, tell me bruv, the fuck you think it’s like bruv.”
As he was led away, still screaming, the judge, Nicholas Cooke QC, turned to the jurors and said: “I think you’ll understand I see this quite often.”
Yes, I’ve no doubt you do. All too often for my liking.
Last year Ebony Reid, a sociologist at London Metropolitan University (Ed: *groans*), published a PhD thesis based on her study of 29 gang members on the north London housing estate where she grew up. She called the estate Northville, and the gang’s members called themselves the mandem, a widely used slang term for a group of men or boys.
Reid found that 17 of the 29 had been permanently excluded from secondary school and two others had attended pupil referral units. Only three completed A-levels or further education. Four had part-time jobs. The remaining 25, including all but one of those excluded from school, were unemployed.
Reid concluded that the gang’s members were trapped in the drug trade because they could not find work.
They’re depraved, on account of they’re deprived! Damn! Rodgers & Hammerstein knew all along!
Last month, drill musicians who were members of a gang, and who had admitted conspiring to cause violent disorder, received a court order that bans them from making music without police permission.
In May senior officers also promised to start treating those who made the films in the same way as those who promote terrorism online.
Who could argue ab….
Oh. Of course.
Nobody is more critical of these measures than the members of that small group of people who are attempting to make sense of gang violence, and who fear that attempts to suppress drill will lead to the further alienation of those young men who regard the music as the soundtrack to their difficult lives.
Funny how that argument never applies to guns, or Islam, or right wing conspiracy theories, isn’t it?