SARAH VINE: I fear for my boy on our streets stained with blood and want more stop and search – The HabariTimes Online
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SARAH VINE: I fear for my boy on our streets stained with blood and want more stop and search

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SARAH VINE: I fear for my boy on our streets stained with blood and want more stop and search

When confronted about the rising tide of knife crime in the capital —and what he was planning to do about it — the best the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, could come up with was that it could take ‘a generation’ to solve the problem.

It was a characteristically weak and defeatist response from a man who seems to be doing everything to exonerate himself from responsibility in this matter.

The scale and the urgency of the crisis appear to have eluded a mayor more at home posing for virtue-signalling selfies than attending to the wounds that are staining his city’s streets with the blood of its young.

Yes, this is a problem deeply rooted in inner-city crime culture — itself a legacy of decades of social and moral breakdown where the warped values of the gang have replaced those of family and community.

Friends and family have paid tribute to 15-year-old Jay Hughes after he was stabbed to death in south London last Thursday

Friends and family have paid tribute to 15-year-old Jay Hughes after he was stabbed to death in south London last Thursday

Friends and family have paid tribute to 15-year-old Jay Hughes after he was stabbed to death in south London last Thursday

Members of the public walk past a scene where 15-year-old Jay Hughes was stabbed and killed. Dozens of floral tributes have been left for the youngster

Members of the public walk past a scene where 15-year-old Jay Hughes was stabbed and killed. Dozens of floral tributes have been left for the youngster

Members of the public walk past a scene where 15-year-old Jay Hughes was stabbed and killed. Dozens of floral tributes have been left for the youngster

 The boy, who was stabbed outside a chicken shop in Lewisham (pictured), was rushed to hospital at around 5.30pm but was later declared dead at 8.15pm

 The boy, who was stabbed outside a chicken shop in Lewisham (pictured), was rushed to hospital at around 5.30pm but was later declared dead at 8.15pm

 The boy, who was stabbed outside a chicken shop in Lewisham (pictured), was rushed to hospital at around 5.30pm but was later declared dead at 8.15pm

There have been a string of recent stabbings in the city of London, including in areas such as Clapham and Anerley. As recently as Monday a 16-year-old boy was stabbed in Tulse Hill and died from his wounds

But that is no excuse to pass the buck. And it’s no help, either, to the grieving mother of Jay Hughes, 15, stabbed to death outside a chicken shop in Lewisham last Thursday, or to Malcolm Mide-Madariola, 17, killed in Clapham last Friday, or the 16-year-old, identified as a rapper known as JaySav, who died in Tulse Hill on Monday night.

It’s already too late for them. And it will be too late for those who, inevitably, and depressingly, will join the rising death toll across Britain before the year is out. These children and their parents don’t have a generation to spare, Mr Khan. They need action now. We all do.

Malcolm Mide-Madariola, 17, (pictured) was named as the teenager who was stabbed to death outside Clapham South Tube station on Friday

Malcolm Mide-Madariola, 17, (pictured) was named as the teenager who was stabbed to death outside Clapham South Tube station on Friday

Malcolm Mide-Madariola, 17, (pictured) was named as the teenager who was stabbed to death outside Clapham South Tube station on Friday

My own son is about to turn 14. Like many his age, he walks to and from school (when children are most likely to be attacked).

I’m lucky that he’s a sensible lad and so are his friends. But I’m not deluded: I know there are gangs operating in our area. I see them all the time, openly dealing drugs in the local playground where I walk the dogs at night, zooming around on their scooters.

I know he’ll try to avoid them, but what if they don’t leave him alone? 

It only takes one idiot on a dare from his mates, one fool trying to prove how much of a man he is, and my child — my precious, only boy — could become a statistic.

It’s a worry that unites us all as mothers, regardless of colour, class or creed. Long-term, many things can be done to change the toxic culture behind these deaths. Schools, communities, parents — all can play their part. But short-term, there is only one answer: more police on our streets.

Everyone understands the need to make economies in public services. But not at the expense of children’s lives. The only thing that will make parents sleep more soundly at night is the knowledge that there are men and women out there whose job it is to protect the safety of our streets — and that they have the resources and the mandate to do so.

Sadiq Khan appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday (pictured) and said it could take a generation for the bloody knife crime epidemic gripping London to be tackled

Sadiq Khan appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday (pictured) and said it could take a generation for the bloody knife crime epidemic gripping London to be tackled

Sadiq Khan appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday (pictured) and said it could take a generation for the bloody knife crime epidemic gripping London to be tackled

That means not just more money for policing in inner-city areas, but more powers for the police. Specifically, a return to stop and search.

The arguments against stop and search are well-rehearsed. They centre mainly around the notion it disproportionately discriminates against certain ethnic groups, in particular young black men.

Hooded lads arrive at the scene of a stabbing on the Tulse Hill Estate to put down flowers. A 16-year-old school boy was stabbed in the area on Monday

Hooded lads arrive at the scene of a stabbing on the Tulse Hill Estate to put down flowers. A 16-year-old school boy was stabbed in the area on Monday

Hooded lads arrive at the scene of a stabbing on the Tulse Hill Estate to put down flowers. A 16-year-old school boy was stabbed in the area on Monday

This is, of course, wholly unacceptable — and is part of the reason the Government rowed back against it during Theresa May’s time at the Home Office.

But it is also the case that the victims of knife crime are overwhelmingly young black men. So you have to balance the concerns of liberals with that reality.

Young people are carrying knives with impunity, safe in the knowledge that there is little the diminished numbers of bobbies on the beat can do.

Already, the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has signalled a change of direction. ‘I want officers to feel confident, trusted and supported in using stop and search, and I will be looking at ways to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency in the use of this power,’ he said in a speech to police chiefs in London last week. Good. Now, get on with it.

Because, however unpleasant, inconvenient or humiliating it may be to be wrongly searched by the police, if it were a choice between that and losing yet another child to the knife, what sane person could possibly object?

Putting the ‘Ex’ in Exocet!   

It’s very callous of Ant McPartlin to run off with his former PA and naughty of him not to show up for his own divorce hearing.

But seeing the pictures of his soon-to-be ex-wife Lisa Armstrong on the warpath to the divorce courts this week (left), I must confess to a twinge of sympathy for the rogue.

Lisa Armstrong (pictured) arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday to start legal arguments with her husband Ant McPartlin over money regarding their divorce settlement

Lisa Armstrong (pictured) arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday to start legal arguments with her husband Ant McPartlin over money regarding their divorce settlement

Lisa Armstrong (pictured) arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday to start legal arguments with her husband Ant McPartlin over money regarding their divorce settlement

If looks could kill, hers were Exocet missiles.

Who can really blame Ant for dodging the first salvo in the mother of all divorce battles?

When it comes to mammals, Sir David Attenborough says that the females are often infinitely more useful than the males. The distinguished naturalist and broadcaster points out, for example, that it’s female elephants that have ‘all the wisdom’, looking after the young and sorting out all the problems — while the males just ‘dash around, trumpeting and copulating whenever they get the chance’.

Hmmm. Not just the elephants, Sir David. Not just the elephants . . .

Time’s up, Doctor 

When the current series of Doctor Who, featuring the first female Time Lord, began, I was immediately struck by how excruciatingly PC it was.

I gave up after episode three (a prolonged U.S. civil rights lecture), assuming that I was just too much of an old cynic to appreciate the message.

Doctor Who ratings have dropped to 6.1 million viewers for latest episode after a series high of 8.2 million for the opener

Doctor Who ratings have dropped to 6.1 million viewers for latest episode after a series high of 8.2 million for the opener

Doctor Who ratings have dropped to 6.1 million viewers for latest episode after a series high of 8.2 million for the opener

But it seems I’m not alone. After last weekend’s outing, which featured a man giving birth, it’s lost more than two million viewers . . . and counting. And I don’t imagine this weekend’s storyline — about India under the British — will help.

Maybe it’s time those Daleks got their way after all — ‘E-x-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-e!’ —before we learn that they’re only so beastly because of intergalactic benefits cuts.

Benedict Cumberbatch is angry. What, you may ask, is troubling the nation’s best-loved thespian? Well, people keep offering him cups of chamomile tea — and he finds this distressing. 

‘Tea is a green leaf that comes mainly from the foothills of India and South America,’ he says. ‘Chamomile is not grown in these environments. So, that’s not a tea.’ I’m beginning to fear that Mr Sherlock has drunk too deeply from the diva cup.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured) shooting scenes in Glasgow's famous Barras market, which has been transformed into New York City for the filming of the TV show Melrose

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured) shooting scenes in Glasgow's famous Barras market, which has been transformed into New York City for the filming of the TV show Melrose

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured) shooting scenes in Glasgow’s famous Barras market, which has been transformed into New York City for the filming of the TV show Melrose

Men are now scared to administer CPR — or the so-called ‘kiss of life’ — to women in case they find themselves accused of sexual assault, according to new research from America.

How sad. But that’s our post-#MeToo world for you: a place where a man would rather let a woman die than risk the wrath of the mob.

A new study has found early risers are 40 to 48 per cent less likely to develop breast cancer than women who go to bed late. Researchers say it’s not clear why this should be the case — but isn’t it obvious? 

Late nights tend to equal lots of eating, drinking and lying on the sofa snacking on chocolates — whereas being up early equates to a generally healthier lifestyle. It’s not a medical breakthrough, it’s just common sense.

We’re united in tribute  

Despite all the fuss about a newsreader refusing to wear a poppy and other people opting for ‘pacifist’ white ones, I’m still heartened by the way that Remembrance Sunday is shaping up this year.

With the world preparing to mark the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the ‘war to end all wars’, this was the extraordinary scene at the Tower of London earlier this week (pictured)

With the world preparing to mark the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the ‘war to end all wars’, this was the extraordinary scene at the Tower of London earlier this week (pictured)

With the world preparing to mark the centenary of the Armistice and the end of the ‘war to end all wars’, this was the extraordinary scene at the Tower of London earlier this week (pictured)

The success of the 2014 display of poppies at the tower meant Historic Royal Palaces, who maintain the landmark, were keen to mark the centenary of Armistice. The ceremony, named Beyond The Deepening Shadow, will be repeated each night until the final showing on Remembrance Sunday

The success of the 2014 display of poppies at the tower meant Historic Royal Palaces, who maintain the landmark, were keen to mark the centenary of Armistice. The ceremony, named Beyond The Deepening Shadow, will be repeated each night until the final showing on Remembrance Sunday

The success of the 2014 display of poppies at the tower meant Historic Royal Palaces, who maintain the landmark, were keen to mark the centenary of Armistice. The ceremony, named Beyond The Deepening Shadow, will be repeated each night until the final showing on Remembrance Sunday

I know it’s the centenary of the Armistice, but I cannot recall when so many people — of all ages, races and backgrounds — embraced the memory of our war dead with such warmth and gratitude. Look at the glorious tributes springing up across Britain, as seen in yesterday’s Mail. From hand-knitted church displays to the awe-inspiring memorial flames at the Tower of London, so many communities want to share their acts of Remembrance.

Maybe it’s our uncertain times, but there seems to be a real feeling of love and respect for the generation who gave so much to preserve our freedoms. Long may it endure.  

Like everyone else, I was horrified by the sight of a bonfire depicting a mock-up of Grenfell Tower being set alight in someone’s garden this week.

But I don’t think it’s a crime, any more than burning an effigy of a long-dead 16th-century Catholic is a crime — or, for that matter, one of Theresa May or Boris Johnson, both of whom were torched as bonfire ‘Guys’ this year.

So why, after one of the capital’s bloodiest weekends for stabbings, are police bagging evidence and searching a South London house in relation to this incident? These people are not criminals — they’re just hateful idiots. Now, please, can we stop wasting police time?

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