‘Just don’t for­get your Rambo knife, son’

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Ben Ellery

THE spate of stab­bings in Lon­don is lead­ing to teenagers taking des­per­ate mea­sures be­cause they fear po­lice can­not pro­tect them, a youth worker said yes­ter­day.

He told how he wit­nessed the mother of one teenager pass­ing him a ‘Rambo knife’ to pro­tect him­self as he left the house.

The youth worker – who has asked to re­main anony­mous – told The Mail on Sun­day: ‘I was go­ing to pick up one of the young kids I men­tor and as he walked out his door his mum said “Don’t for­get this”, and gave him a JD Sports bag with a Rambo in it.

‘I was gob­s­macked. I spoke to him about it and he said that it’s part of his re­al­ity be­cause the po­lice can­not guar­an­tee his safety. I spoke to the mum and she had tears in her eyes. She is ter­ri­fied for her son’s safety but she sees the knife as mak­ing him safer.

‘Young peo­ple see a knife as of­fer­ing pro­tec­tion – if some­one comes for them and they pull out a knife then it might make the other per­son run away.’

He added: ‘Many young peo­ple at the mo­ment are morally bank­rupt. They have be­come de­sen­si­tised to killing and be­lieve that if you are not pre­pared to stab some­one then you are vul­ner­a­ble. I have heard kids ac­cus­ing oth­ers of be­ing weak be­cause they only stabbed some­one once – they per­ceive them as soft be­cause they didn’t stab them sev­eral times and kill them.

‘I know ten-year-olds now who are walk­ing around with ma­chetes.’

For­mer gang mem­ber Shel­don Thomas, founder of Lon­don-based Gangsline, is not sur­prised that par­ents are telling the chil­dren to arm them­selves. He said: ‘We have a prob­lem in the black com­mu­nity with fa­ther­less chil­dren.

‘Th­ese young­sters have no pos­i­tive role mod­els and ev­ery­one needs to stop turn­ing a blind eye to the is­sue. It has been hap­pen­ing for years and it’s only when it’s too late that politi­cians want to do some­thing about it.’

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