West Ham MP Lyn Brown witnesses the reality of knife crime


- Credit: Archant

I just drove past the bleeding body of a young man, curled upon the pavement around the corner to my home. Several Police officers were with him. He seemed to be clutching a stomach wound. It’s Friday: not yet 10pm.

I didn’t stop. I couldn’t have helped. I hear sirens approaching, which I assume means an ambulance is coming to try and save this young life. I send up a prayer which I hope will be answered.

As I write, I have no idea what happened. I make all kinds of assumptions, most of which will doubtless be wrong. I know for certain there has been a brutal attack on the streets where we live and young lives, and those of their families, are being wrecked.

I know things like this happen; I discuss them with our police officers and read about them in this newspaper, but actually seeing, albeit fleetingly, the aftermath of such an incident shook me to the core. I imagine it would have been worse for my neighbours, who may have heard or seen the fracas and called the police and ambulance.

I hope the police catch those responsible for injuring that young man, and when they do, that the attackers receive appropriate prison sentences. That is only right and just, but I can’t help feeling a deep, abiding sorrow, and not just for the injured young man lying on the street and for his family, but for the other young men involved. Many lives were ruined tonight.

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Countrywide, knife crime is going down, due to the hard work of many individuals and organisations, professionals and volunteers, who spend a lot of time with young people, educating them in the folly of carrying knives. Prevention is always better than cure.

That being said, I’m glad I voted for a knife clampdown in June this year and a mandatory jail sentence for anyone caught twice in possession of a knife.

Anything we do to get knives off the streets, to make our young people, our families and our streets even a little safer, must be right. More from Lyn

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