West Ham MP Lyn Brown demands more is done to stop county lines gang grooming
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 September 2018
The MP for West Ham made an impassioned speech in Parliament about protecting children against gang grooming.
Yesterday, Lyn Brown made several demands to ministers to do more to stop county lines grooming, which she called a “cycle of exploitation”.
She cited the nine young people who’ve died in West Ham since 2017 due to violent crime, including Corey Junior Davis, a 14-year-old who was shot outside a playground in Forest Gate last year.
She said: “These people have created a cruelly efficient business model to distribute and sell drugs, using our children as expendable, cheap labour.
“It is a cycle of grooming, it is a cycle of abuse, it is a cycle of exploitation that has become an industry.
“The children live terrifying a existence, witnessing depravity and violence almost day to day.”
She said the deaths of the past year had left communities in Newham traumatised, and referred to Sami Sidhom, who was killed in April in Forest Gate.
“After the appalling murder of Sami, there was an immediate and powerful surge of mutual aid and support in his community,” she said.
“They were traumatised, but they received so little support. The trauma is not felt just by the families, friends, schoolmates and neighbours. In Forest Gate, there was a palpable feeling that the community was in crisis after Sami died.”
Ms Brown made a list of demands which she said would prevent the further rise of grooming. They included youth workers who could teach children how to resist manipulation, and more training for those in the field, to understand “the full malignancy of the beast we are dealing with”.
She said better protection of witnesses, along with stronger action against inciting violence on social media, was also essential. She accused drill rap videos of celebrating gang murder, saying these videos were happening in streets her constituents lived and worked in.
She said: “The deaths over the past year have caused so much trauma and pain in my constituency.
“I want reassurance that those responsible for the creation of this sickening business are in our sights and will soon be serving very hefty prison sentences. I hold them accountable for the deaths in my community, the premature and heartless deaths of many of our young children.”
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