Sunday, 28 March 2010

It's Not Written In The Tea Leaves - It's More Obvious Than That

Last year I wrote a post titled pretty patterns about the rise of gang culture. This centred on the relatively young ages of the children involved, the level and viciousness of their criminality and my concerns for their futures.

Another youth murder committed by schoolchildren hits the headlines and nearly 20 youths are arrested having allegedly been involved in a gang fight at Victoria train station in the midst of the rush hour. Let me hazard a guess as it's not been reported, and state here now that at least 80% of those involved are from a visible ethnic minority. Is is not only a couple of weeks ago that there was massive negative press about stop and search figures where police were criticised for stopping black youths disproportionally? This is what happens in reality when these kids have it out in public.

After I wrote that post there was relative peace in my shopping centre, at least on the days we had a police presence. There were the odd days when it was different. When you got two opposing groups the atmosphere was electric waiting for it to kick off. Having police uniforms right there on the scene didn't ease that and it wouldn't have stopped the groups clashing. There had to be a dominating presence from our side to remove the smaller group from the area. It would be fair to say neither group had any fear of police or any sanctions including arrest that might have been considered. Making arrests would in fact kick it off, and although some might have seen our responses as overbearing towards youths believe me - it was the right way to maintain the peace. Once they'd chilled over the following days we all got on just fine again.

It was a prophetic post in many ways and no doubt replicated across the metropolis. Young black youth are dying on the streets but still the police are battered for being institutionally racist. I've read the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and found it tried to be helpful in finding answers, however the conclusions are open to interpretation. It has been written that, one of the greatest paradoxes of your physical senses, is that your eyes actually show you what you believe, not what you see.

It's time some people opened their eyes and understand what's happening on the streets and who is actually paying the price. The Met have impacted with their Operation Blunt where extra police are drafted in on PSU's to tackle the gangs through directed stop and search. It ain't pretty but it shows who rules the streets when they're out and no doubt it's saved a few lives.


Metcountymounty said...

Cracking post SoC. Ive no idea how many other people have said it, or more importantly have wanted to say it but haven't for one reason or another, but it's a very simple fact that the majority of victims and suspects - especially for murder - in knife related crime are black or from ethnic minorities.

I've done Op Blunt quite a few times now and at each briefing when they put the collage up of the victims it's like the hugest elephant in the room when the briefing officer says that it's "clear" that the knife crime and gang problem isn't just an issue for the black community. The fact that every suspect last year and the year before in juvenile murders were 'non-white' just makes me want to scream "are you looking at the same screen as everyone else??"

I've been involved on a few murder and attempted murder jobs and it's the same thing every time when we are briefed.

It's not nice in the slightest saying that it is predominantly a problem amongst black male youths that knife use is incredibly high in proportion to all other ethnicities, but it is a fact. The sooner people realise that the sooner we can move on and deal with the problem and try and save some of these kids before it's too late for them.

Dandelion said...

Soo...nothing to do with being young, male, poor, disadvantaged, uneducated, fatherless, or culturally alienated then....?

I don't see a problem with mentioning that they are black, but if that's the total extent of the analysis, if that's the only pattern the police are interested in thinking about - the obvious implication being that it's because they're black - then policing really has got a very long way to go.

Metcountymounty said...

Dandelion, thanks to MacPherson, skin colour is the only thing that we are so heavily criticised on because he - without a scrap if actual evidence - branded the Police in London and by association Police officers everywhere as being institutionally racist. That report came out just before I joined so as soon as I did join I suddenly became a racist, apparently.

Everything you mentioned is a cause for the problem but they are issues for society, social workers, and the education system to address. The Police should deal with crime and those who commit crime. There is more than enough crime for us to deal with as it is without having the burdens of society laid at our feet as well.

Anonymous said...

Who said they are committing the crime BECAUSE they are black? talk about reading what you want to read instead of the words written on the page!

FACT the majority of knife crime in London is committed by black male youths.

FACT the majority of victims in London of knife crime are black male youths.

FACT every suspect in every murder in 2008 for every victim aged under 18 was of black or minority ethnic origin.

No one is saying that they are committing crime BECAUSE they are black, we're saying that we should be able to honestly say that the majority of criminals committing knife crime ARE black and we should be targeting them accordingly without people accusing us of racism for doing so.


Stressed Out Cop said...

Soo...nothing to do with being young, male, poor, disadvantaged, uneducated, fatherless, or culturally alienated then....?

Dandelion - A lot of sterotyping in that statement something we are trying to get away from.

Read the first post again .. lack of discipline yes .. culturally alienated ? I think you will find a mix of cultures make up these gangs .. linked by USA Gangsta culture .. and can't recall many being American.

I'll agree to male, young and fatherless for some, but that can't explain or excuse stabbing another schoolkid.

You can't give a blanket analysis without looking at individual cases.

It's the lack of fear that worries me. No fear of police and No fear of getting caught.

MCM and Anon are correct - Let's look at the facts as they are and deal with it without retribution for use of the stop search tool.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the kids of today have no fear, of police, or of parents authority. But police appear to "fear" public criticism for doing their job, and/or fessing up to the mistakes made by a few, rather than the many. Parents also "fear" that if they dish out tough love and firm discipline to kids, that the, the parents, will be jumped upon by Social Services and/or police, and accused of "child abuse". Madness.

The rot set in when the concept for the Child Protection System was hijacked and corrupted, when the letter detailing it was written in 1986.

The system was launched in 1989, onto the news channels by a "baddie", a wolf in sheep's clothing, who had twisted and perverted it to oppress parents in a witch-hunt to prevent ANY form of "child abuse". He used it as a cover and a smoke-screen to conceal his own serious crimes. Parental authority was seriously undermined by an oppressive system attitude towards mothers, ESPECIALLY SINGLE MUMS, by Health, Education and Social Workers.

It has taken 20 years, but that "baddie" did a very good job of wrecking the very fabric of society, using the government agencies to do that.

The result is a breakdown of society, feral and violent kids, who know no boundaries..... Because parents have been made into criminals, or falsely accused of "abusing" their kids, when they were trying to teach them that bad behaviour has consequences, like a slap, or being read the riot act.

But the appalling irony in all of this is, that Social Services et al, have failed numerous kids, like baby Peter, who ended up dead.

It IS obvious that discipline HAS broken down BECAUSE the Child Protection System got it wrong, right at the beginning, and NuLabour just made matters worse.

Abuses of power at the heart of government also do NOT help society, nor the police who are expected to protect the public.


Blue Eyes said...

I just do not understand. At all. How does it become the culture to carry a knife? How does it become the culture to be in a "gang"? How does it become the culture for the gangs to pre-arrange fights? How does it become the culture to deliberately kill another gang member if separated from the group?

But for lots of these people it does seem to be exactly that it has become the culture. They don't seem to know anything else. As a society we seem to have become scared of our children. How did that happen?

And most difficultly, how TF do we start to put things right?

Anonymous said...

MET ANON: Our borough has had a growing youth gang problems there has been two murders, four shootings and loadsof fights. All have the main players are non white and most of the lower tier of the heirachy are too! That is not an issue to an copper I know just the forms we have to fill in or to the liberal elite who occupy postions of power it is! They are naturally drawn to the thug or gangsta due to the problems of social deprevation and lack of positive appropriate male role models! As a police officer I know that these are the causes. However my job is to deter,prevent and arrest to reduce crime and if it is seen as confrontional and racist in the way I deal with it is because it is the only method they respect! However if it prevents anyone else getting hurt it may have worked short term. The greater question to ask is why do suh a small section of society cause such problems, have had so much resources thrown at them and yet they mostly do not contribute much to society? Who in return does not appear to be doing much for them.

Area Trace No Search said...

I agree with BE - I also think back to my childhood.
I carried a knife, as did most of my friends. Growing up the country it was a normal and useful thing to do.

Not only did I manage to avoid stabbing anyone, it didn't even occur to me. In fact, I never even heard of a stabbing hppening.

Murders were drunken fights and domestics.

I just can't work out the thought processes involved in arming up with the sole purpose and intent of killing someone for being in a different gang. Maybe it's a lack of self control? I know that from my young teens onwards I regularly carried a knife, and a .22 rifle or an air pistol on my weekends, and had access to shotguns on a semi regular basis. Even at such a young age I realised the responsibility of it all, and despite the many stupid and/or dangerous things I did, they didn't involve the items above being used to harm or threaten people.

Blue Eyes said...

An air rifle you say! I hope you don't keep it in London, could cause a few difficulties if anyone saw you with *that* in the big city.

Dandelion said...

So..what do we think of this then?

Stressed Out Cop said...

I think the PCC are wrong unless they expect him to print the figures ..... he mentioned London and the majority of violent crime being committed by VEM.

Some areas as mentioned maybe, but not all me thinks (rapes?). I think disproportinate amount would have been more accurate.

TonyF said...

I have to agree with BE, and like ATNS, I had a similar upbringing.

The only similarity that I can think of is 'Lord of the Flies'. The children there had no adults to say 'no'. They pushed and pushed the moral envelope until it burst. If I remember correctly, the first death was more of an accident, but after the first, the others got easier and easier. Society now is in the same boat. Unless our leaders get a grip, and punishments actually come somewhere near fitting the crimes, things will get worse. It is irrelevant what colour the criminals are.

Oi said...

So..what do we think of this then?

What do we think?
We think "Never let the facts interfere with a politically correct agenda."