Mother who told her son: Don’t forget your knife
AS A teenage boy leaves the house, his mother hands him a bag with a ferocious combat knife inside and tells him: ‘Don’t forget this.’
This chilling moment witnessed by a social worker reveals the appalling lawlessness into which much of London has descended.
The tearful mother passed on the weapon – a ‘Rambo knife’ – only as protection because she believes the police can no longer assure her son’s safety in a city in which children as young as ten are routinely walking around with blades.
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.’
He said: ‘ 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 i n 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.
‘ Many young people at the moment are morally bankrupt. They’ve become desensitised to killing and believe that if you’re not prepared to stab someone then you are vulnerable.
‘I know ten-year-olds now who are walking around with machetes. I’ve 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.’
The worker, who runs a youth club, believes part of the blame is drill music, a violent form of hiphop. He said: ‘I see kids walking around at 8am listening to headphones and the music is all about stabbing and killing people.
‘Music is a very powerful thing and these kids are re-enacting what they hear in the lyrics.’
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
‘Ten-year-olds walking around with machetes’
years and it’s only when it’s too late that politicians want to do something about it. I have warned about this for years.’
Pastor Dan Watson works for the Hillsong Church group in London and has around 800 people attend a weekly youth club.
He said: ‘What is so scary is that a lot of these kids being killed are completely innocent but were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
‘I would not feel safe if one of my kids wanted to travel around London on a bus.
‘I came from a background with a violent father, I was arrested and was able to turn my life around. I’m trying to pass on that message of hope. Our church is a lot different to the old style church – it needs to engage the youth.
‘We have role models come in to talk to the kids, there’s games, music – we are trying to get out a message of positivity.’
So far in the capital alone this year there have been 119 killings, approaching l ast year’s t ot al of 123.
A t hird of t his year’s cases involved victims aged 16 to 24, and 22 were teenagers.
In the latest, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death in Tulse Hill, South London on Monday.