Recorder letters: Knife crime fears, housing managers and 5G rollout

Victory Youth Group held a Life is Worth Living earlier on in the year from outside Canning Town Sta

Victory Youth Group held a Life is Worth Living earlier on in the year from outside Canning Town Station to Stratford Park to protest against knife crime. Picture by ELLIE HOSKINS - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Knife crime poll

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo's in London, writes:

Knife crime is an issue which no longer just affects inner parts of London, but can be found in the leafier outer suburbs, and has spread to towns and cities across the UK.

A recent Barnardo's YouGov poll of more than 1,000 adults in England and Wales reveals that 66 per cent of adults surveyed are worried children aged 10-18 may become knife crime victims.

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Similarly, 61pc of respondents surveyed worry children feel unsafe in their local area because of knife crime.

Nearly six in 10 (58pc) said children carry knives for protection because they feel vulnerable.

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This matches Barnardo's experience of working with children and young people.

Almost two thirds of adults (65pc) responding to the YouGov survey agreed that more safe places and activities for children such as youth clubs, sports clubs, community centres would make their area safer for children from knife crime.

While 60pc surveyed think more investment in neighbourhoods to combat poverty, inequality and unemployment will help.

This polling shows that most adults realise that knife crime is a complex issue.The answer does not lie in tougher sentences but in making sure our children and young people are safe.

At Barnardo's we are working with politicians and partner organisations to make the streets safer for children and young people.

We want the government to ensure children can thrive in their own communities; provide safe environments and activities for children, alongside more investment in neighbourhoods and services to combat poverty.

We need to urgently work together as a society to get a grip on this national crisis.

Government needs to work with children's services, educationalists, charities, social workers, youth workers, the criminal justice system and local communities to tackle the real causes of knife crime.

We are proud of our support

Sue Rigby, manager, Hedgerow Court, Nelson Street, East Ham, writes:

Following the appointments of prime minister Boris Johnson and his new housing minister Esther McVey, it's more important than ever to remind politicians and the local community about the essential services housing managers like me provide.

I'm proud of the support I'm able to give my customers so they can continue to lead fulfilling lives in their own home, knowing that I'm there if they need me.

Anchor Hanover's housing managers are raising awareness of the importance of supported housing as part of the National Housing Federation's Starts at Home action day on Friday (August 30).

The campaign, now in its third year, celebrates how supported housing helps hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people regain their independence and confidence.

Anchor Hanover and other housing associations are also campaigning to persuade the government to commit to ensuring every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs.

Anyone wanting to find out more about how Anchor Hanover's managers support older people living in retirement housing properties, can either pop in to my retirement property or look online at

Let's stop 5G technology

Mark Taylor, campaign manager, SayNoTo5G, writes:

The UK government is holding an under-publicised consultation on the Electronic Communications Code (EECC).

This is on the conditions for a more rapid adoption of 5G mobile communications technology, the first wave of which was launched recently.

The advice MPs have received is that the technology is safe for mass use, but this is yet to be proven. The guidance only covers limited heating effects.

A planned wave of 5G will use very high frequency pulsed radiation (MMW).

Safeguards on other ionising radiation suggest that this should not be trialled in public places such as near schools or via antennae on lamp posts outside our homes.

Over 200 scientists have called for a halt on expansion until it can be proved safe. The authorities should concentrate on safer alternatives such as wired broadband and Light-Fi.

For more on the consultation, visit You can respond until September 10 via

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