In response to Robert James: We’re at a fork in the road to hell,
In my view there is a lot of guff being talked in the media about gangs, knives, drugs, with too many pundits seeking to place the blame on RECENT ‘police cuts’, ‘Tory austerity’ etc.
Some people, especially the noisy Left, have forgotten ‘Blair’s Feral Youth’. Gangs are not new.
The media comment in the last few days has been all about what May said about DIRECT correlation to police numbers. Missing the point. We are badly served in media analysis, especially by the BBC.
Of course she was correct. There is none. Not direct anyway.
The current rush of knife crime and gang culture has been coming for 30 years, it has been a cultural change, driven over a long period of time by very uncomplicated imitative behaviour.
A cultural infection.
It has been helped by the media, pressures for drug normalisation and use, Internet-based social media, popular music, violent mind-numbing computer games and so on.
Latterly it has been assisted by UK plc, virtually abandoning, controlling the wholesale drug market, Britain is FULL of drugs. More full than it has ever been, with no single organisation prioritising keeping the market small and the Home Office struggling to understand what it has failed to do , under successive Ministers, Labour and Tory.
A UK full of drugs, with too many of the population intent on making money from drugs, means intense competition for drug markets with more violence. There are too many drug dealers chasing too few customers. Hence the worsening of violence in ‘County Lines’, and ‘County Lines’ or something very like it, is not new at all. It is a new name for an old UK drug market feature. Distribution of drugs from cities like London and Liverpool, to other markets. That has also been around for 30 years, it just got much more intense and got mobile phones.
Imitation of that gang violence and the other lifestyle influencers and the cultural influences described in this article, has reached down to all sectors of British youth, even those not necessarily involved with drugs. Every school will have some drugs users, every school will have some kids carrying knives. Most kids will know those who do these things and who have these things. Most kids will know that there is little intervention to stop it. Many schools will not even have a proactive policy to nip either activity in the bud. Having a proactive policy hints to parents you have problem. ALL schools have a problem. They should act together to deal with it.
Most crass of all was the Theresa May (as Home Secretary) limiting of police activity on ‘stop and search’ because of complaints about the over targeting of certain demographic groups and supposed cultural sensitivities. The same sort of misplaced sensitivities that gave us Rotherham?
If those demographic groups are, or rather were, the source of the gangster lifestyle social infection, as I believe they were, primary deterrence of that lifestyle was at the heart of preventing a spread of the infection.
Not only are we badly served by the media, especially the BBC, we are badly served by Civil Servants in the Home Office who give advice to Ministers and plainly have little understanding of what they are trying to control or how they might deal with it.
May, giving in to unwise media comment, made the police give up control of the streets. They were neutered. How many of them were there, is not the main point. They lost heart and were looking over their shoulders.
The police but now not only the police, are going to have to do ‘Stop and Search’ across society, schools are going to have to do it as well.
And, it is not just the carrying of knives that is the problem, all boy scouts 60 years ago carried substantial sheath knives, I carried one myself. It is the corrosive culture and the bravado and willingness to use them against humans.
That is the real cultural infection.
It has not just recently happened, it is disingenuous to pretend it has.