Friday, August 31, 2007

UK - Govt has few answers to solve youth crime

London and the rest of the UK have seen a rise in violent youth crime. At least media reports give this impression. But last night London saw its nineteenth teenage victim of gun and knife crime. The unnamed 17 year old was stabbed to death in the Newham area of the capital [BBC]. And it’s not just knife crime there has been a spate of shootings recently. One has particularly grabbed media attention, that of 11 year old Rhys Jones who was shot in Liverpool whilst playing football [BBC]. But it’s not just teenagers at risk from Britain’s violent youths. Today a court found five youths guilty of stoning a 67 year old man to death [BBC]. Shockingly one of the five was aged just ten years old at the time of the attack. This and other attacks have prompted a widespread media debate [BBC] as well as politicians attempting to address the problem. Few have any real answers to solve the problem of youth crime or to identify the underlying causes. While the Conservative Party criticizes ‘Gun Amnesties’ as too feeble [BBC] Jack Straw, Labour’s Justice Minister, has the put ball firmly in the public arena, saying, “I think that everybody has accepted now this is an issue beyond politics".

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