COMMENT: Young people are traumatised – we have to stop knife killings

By Donna Sinclair

DONNA sinclair

There has been an upsurge of violence in Lambeth this year: the borough faces a crisis of youth crime. We some of the highest crime statistics for stabbings and murder amongst young people. Our young people are traumatised, constantly living in fear of gangs, stabbings, and horrifically shooting incidents.

What the statuary authorities are attempting on the ground is not working: if it were, our children would not be dying. In the face of statutory failure to deal with the problem, we must empower ourselves and overcome the conspiracy of silence surrounding youth violence. We must act to stem postcode structures, murders, and life-changing psychological and physical injuries.

We urgently need to rethink failing statutory policies. For too long the only remedy has been the criminal justice system. We need joined-up thinking that brings together experts, lawmakers, and affected communities.  We need to enable parents to parent their children, and support them where they need help. We need to support our children in schools, and use exclusion only as a very last resort.

Options 4 Change, Karibu Education Centre and Brixton Splash want to bring the community together to demand resources and support for our community, its young people and their parents. This a cry for help from the community of Lambeth: we are putting the Prime Minister on notice that we cannot stand the deaths and damage to our young people any longer.

We must ask ourselves what could have been done to prevent these deaths, and why nothing has been done, and we must act before any more children get hurt.

Donna Sinclair is the CEO of Options 4 Change 


  1. Each part of the countries have different social issues, Some of the social issues have now only come to light, however I belief life choices some parents have chosen of is part of the issue. A decrease in Afro-Caribbean playing a community role, especially amongst the middle classes also the churches that use be the centre of the community and played a important role has fallen over the years. Different community that have joined lambeth now competing for funding, government cut back along with higher demand for resources.

    With new communities comes more social issue, as we all have them, to force marriage, child exploitation and female genital mutilation these well all need funding and specialist attention. That is why some section of the communities agree with everybody paying council even those communities that have paid little or no council tax yet use resources we all need, and in effect resouces used assist their communities.

    Life choices, budgeting and aspiration should be tort in all school or any youth setting.

  2. kali, sikaran, kalisikaran, fma, arnis, escrima, eskrima, punong, guro,knife, fighting, defence .
    Thank you for this informative post.

  3. Knife crime is a terrible scourge on the young people of Lambeth. As far as I know, knife crime rates are much higher in Lambeth than in the rest of country. So presumably there is some reason why young people in the rest of the country don’t stab one another so much.

    Has anyone done any research into why there is such a difference ? Perhaps we could find out the reasons why elsewhere young people don’t generally stab one another, and the statutory authorities could copy those approaches in Lambeth.

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