As May denies cuts cause rise, parents prepare to shut down central London in knife crime protest

May’s denials draw ridicule – and mothers plan direct action to protect their and others’ children.

On Monday Theresa May was ridiculed and heavily criticised for a nonsensical claim that massive cuts to police numbers – over twenty thousand frontline officers have gone – are not linked to the rise in violent crime:

Senior former police officers have poured scorn on the claim that crime rises are not linked to huge cuts in numbers. London’s top police officer Cressida Dick also dismissed it:

But a group of parents and others who have suffered loss are organising more direct action – and next month they plan to bring a key location in the centre of London to a standstill to focus minds on the urgent need to stem the tide.

OperationShutdown will take place on 17 April. The group’s press release describes who they are and what they hope to achieve:

Who are OPERATION SHUTDOWN?

We are a newly formed consortium of mums, dad’s and other bereaved family members and loved ones, working with and supported by other knife crime campaigners and campaigns, teachers, grassroots, youth and community groups, organising together under the banner of : #OPERATIONSHUTDOWN. This will be a lawful peaceful, but powerful protest.

We invite and encourage ALL who support our ethos and aims, who want the violence, deaths, pain, heartache and misery to stop, to join and come together on the day, as one; in peaceful protest.

Why are we doing #OPERATIONSHUTDOWN?

As a growing group of mum’s, dads, families, loved ones and knife crime campaigners, we are absolutely sick, tired and traumatised, by waking up daily and going to bed, after hearing more news, of young people being stabbed and murdered on our streets and within our local communities across the UK, daily.

As mothers, we did not carry our children for 9 months, give birth, raise them, to have our children go on to kill each other and die or be hurt at the hands of one another- often for senseless and incomprehensible reasons.

We will no longer accept the war zone type environment, our children and communities are now living in, in fear and trauma.
We will NEVER accept this level or type of violence as ‘normal’ nor get used to this, enough is enough; we are compelled to take direct action!

We do not believe nearly enough is being done, with enough urgency, with enough priority and nor treated like the national public health UK wide emergency it is.

We do not believe our voices and the voices of young people are heard, often enough, without filter, dilution, manipulation or censorship.

Why have we called the protest a SHUTDOWN?

• We intend on the day to SHUTDOWN a central key location in Central London
• We want to SHUTDOWN this violent epidemic
• We want to SHUTDOWN the misery and pain
• We want to SHUTDOWN the trauma and fear
• We want to SHUTDOWN the lack of justice
• We will SHUTDOWN further if our demands are not engaged with

The group says the plan has arisen from the growing desperation of parents at the appalling toll of lives lost to violent crime – and the abject failure of “the Prime Minister, her Cabinet Ministers and her Majesty’s Government as a whole, nor many of our own Councillor’s and MPs [to act] with enough priority, urgency, care, [or] consideration“.

The group says that while it is making political demands, it is not politically aligned. Its demands are that:

  1. a Victims Law be introduced with utmost urgency
  2. the Government immediately call a COBRA meeting
  3. those found guilty of murder and manslaughter to serve the full sentence, the maximum sentence possible in law
  4. that Parliament immediately review sentencing guidelines for repeat weapon offenders
  5. that prisons are revamped and reformed, so that every waking minute of incarceration is spent on rehabilitation activity
  6. the Government implement Baroness Newlove’s recommendations for the overhaul of Criminal Injuries Compensation law – CICA
  7. the Government agree to and announce an independent public inquiry into school exclusions, PRU’s and the links to serious violence
  8. the Government halt all further planned cuts to local council budgets and restore to pre austerity levels
  9. the Government restore police budgets to pre austerity levels, to ensure adequate police numbers, staffing and resources
  10. the Government halt and reverse cuts to education and all schools to pre-austerity spending levels
  11. the Government mandate youth work as a profession
  12. adequate effective protection and safeguarding is funded, supported and implemented by social services and their partnership agencies
  13. the Government, National Crime Agency and the police, begin a coordinated approach to rooting out and holding to account, the adults and criminals involved in trafficking, grooming and abuse of children and vulnerable young people
  14. the work, progress and outcomes of the VRU style public health approach, recently launched initiatives, is shared with local people by their local councils, at quarterly face to face public forums
  15. the Government’s relevant ministers and opposition shadow ministers, join us at a meeting called by us, for an audience with us and others directly affected by violence, to listen to us, as a consortium, to start a meaningful and productive relationship

More information is available on the group’s Facebook page. or by emailing teamoperationshutdownlondon@gmail.com.

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34 responses to “As May denies cuts cause rise, parents prepare to shut down central London in knife crime protest

  1. I think that to blame police cuts is far too simple, there is no quick fix and knife crime is nothing new. The causes are poverty, alienation, lack of education (those involved in knife crime are likely to have been excluded from school therefore the whole policy of exclusion as practiced by academies is partly to blame), austerity, lack of prospects for uneducated urban youth and family breakdown…..then comes police cuts.
    This sounds like another middle class lobby group.

      • I believe most left leaning MP’s blame austerity, which cut numerous resources from youth orientated schemes, police cuts just being part of it.

      • What would you do to deal with this? Where would you start?

      • “Where would you start”
        In schools, as soon as problems are apparent and as early as possible, by the time they’ve been excluded it is probably too late for most, but you do have an identifiable group to work with.

    • Excluded from school? I wonder why? Could it possibly be that they are disruptive thugs who revelled in causing pain? I should know, being on the receiving end of these types for most of my school years.

      “Oh, they probably came from bad family scenarios”

      Well so did I but it didn’t make me a sociopathic bully. And I was glad when those that bullied me were not around in school to continue the torture.

      • “Bad family scenarios” obviously aren’t the reason then. So why write it? I listed some of the reasons, they include exclusion. Those excluded are a core group that needs addressing, not abandoning, if you want to tackle knife crime. Feeling angry and wanting revenge isn’t the answer either.

      • hear hear . . I too was bullied by everyone at school . . was so thankful I left at 15 . . .
        I hated breaks & lunch times as I always was the brunt… .

    • Agree with everything, and I know you didn’t dispute it, but cuts clearly do have an effect on policing effectiveness generally.
      Of course S&S would be ineffective and that’s the only practical suggestion they’ll offer – everything else costs too much.
      Lack of prospects over three generations and the knowledge that employers reject applications by postcode and by name also have their effect – can’t just blame the culprits and absolve the society that created the conditions.
      One thing I wondered about was the nature of the most recent attack in the park – random targeting suggested it might be something else copied from the US & the movies – a test of a new gang member.

    • I agree it’s way more than “just” police cuts behind this But it’s the police cuts that have enabled it to flourish, along with msm bringing every detail into every home in glorious technicolour.
      There are many other “hidden” factors that have been listed in the demands, and these all have had their key roles to play along the way to here.
      But for that incompetent, tin-eared, imbecile to deny the cuts she made to the police have any to do with the situation, is quite extraordinary…..bit like saying a twice used teabag isn’t the reason the tea is so weak !

  2. Off topic, sorry, but this was on just a few minutes ago.
    Louise Ellman interviewed on BBC touting the idea of an external body to deal with antisemitism complaints.
    Exactly what’s needed – but with lawyers not the political & BoD nominees she almost certainly has in mind.
    Lawyers will reject the spurious evidence-shy antisemitism-free generality of complaints and the tiny number of genuine ones will become obvious.

      • Falconer? I don’t guess you mean Faulkner.
        No, I’d protest any political appointment. And anyone with ambitions.
        Possibly an existing academic group recommended by such as the Law Society, working part time from their own offices – ought to be easily capable of skimming off the dross in short order.

      • Falconer had Tony Blair’s as his protegee, you’d think the right of the party would welcome him.

    • FUCKING Norman Smith – now saying we’re “ENGULFED” in antisemitism.
      And to Baroness Warsi: “How would you COMPARE Tory Islamophobia to Labour antisemitism?” His hoped-for answer, that “Labour is worse”, didn’t come.
      “We know under Cameron there was a HUGE effort to modernise the party…” FFS! Good old Cameron…

  3. Read an article today where one MP spouted that anti-capitalism equals antisemitism. Never heard that one before. Total and utter rubbish. Actually, I don’t know if anybody has realised she actually expressed an antisemitic cliché…….

    • Yes, on yesterday’s Today Programme. An interview with Siobhain McDonagh:

      “I had just pressed the “Publish” button when I was sent another example from within Labour of the argument that being anti-capitalism is the same as being anti-Semitic. This one is from “moderate” Labour MP Siobhain McDonough, who made these extraordinary remarks during an interview with John Humphrys on Radio 4:

      McDonough: It’s very much part of their politics, of hard left politics, to be against capitalists and to see Jewish people as the financiers of capital. Ergo you are anti-Jewish people.

      Humphrys: In other words, to be anti-capitalist you have to be anti-Semitic?

      McDonough: Yes. Not everybody, but there is a certain… there’s a certain strand of it. These people are not Labour, have never been Labour, but we now find them in our party.”

      https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2019-03-04/anti-semitism-smear-corbyn-labour/

    • A-C = A-S rings a decades-distant bell but my memory doesn’t work so well anymore. Do you have a link Sabine?

      Ah, found it – Siobhain McDonagh MP.

      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190304-corbyn-critic-claims-anti-capitalism-is-also-anti-semitism/

      To claim that hatred of capitalism = hatred of Jews one is asserting that capitalism = Judaism – that Judaism and capitalism are one – the same – indivisible. That to be Jewish is to be capitalist.

      It’s a hair from claiming that capitalism was chosen by God for His people.

      I think most Jews will say she’s full of shit – and if they won’t we must – from the rooftops.

      • I think that you have put your finger on a key feature of extreme pro-Israel propaganda. It actually circles round to become itself extremely antisemitic in its attempt to recruit a concept of Judaism to bonkers exceptionalist ideas and beliefs.

      • 🙂 ‘Put my finger on’? Wotcha sayin’ – even a stopped clock’s right twice a day? – Oh, well done! Fancy you spotting that!? 🙂

  4. I support this movement because this government is not listening. I would also support similar action on the 17th April, in Liverpool because enough is enough.

  5. We need community coppers on the beat, keeping in touch. We need youth workers in sufficient numbers to maintain contact with every kid. We need massive investment in youth clubs and other youth facilities. We need enough properly qualified social workers to support deprived communities. We need an appropriate apprenticeship for every school leaver.
    May has made the situation a thousand times worse, but the rot started when Thatcher came to power.

  6. I’m old enough to remember Thatcher closing down youth clubs and that started the rot setting in. Beat Bonnies knew their patch, understood what was happening and nipped things in the bud. You sack 21,000 police officers and you loose local knowledge and intelligence. May’s not willing to admit the link between crime and sacking police because it’s on her watch! The fact Cobra hasn’t been implemented shows how dillusional she has become. That Savid Javid couldn’t disagree with the link shows he at least thinks she’s lost the plot. Javid looks like an intellectual compared with most of the cabinet but that’s damning him with faint praise!

    • Well remembered Christopher. Lundiel has a point about academies, but academy exclusions are the tip of the iceberg. One has to consider a whole spectrum of what young people have been progressively excluded from, or denied, since those years when the Thatcher philosophy took a hold: hope, employment, a viable and immediate community – one not driven purely by the profit motive – and a belief that there is such a thing as society and a common good. People tend to follow leaders and as soon as Thatcher proclaimed ‘each to their own’ in so many words and adapted her policies accordingly, the consequences began to express themselves.

      • Yes, and those isolated, neglected and denied benefits or opportunities found the comradeship and society which was denied them in mainstream society in gang culture.

      • The sad thing is, we will probably deal with this exactly the same as America did, by building super prisons which will become part of the economic backdrop, along with criminal justice in general. If you build more prisons, you have to keep them full. That’s not the kind of society we should aspire to.

  7. I offer the best to this group and of course conditions including cuts to youth services and cuts to police and community constable numbers have contributed to this crisis.
    But perhaps the Tories show disinterest because it is not involving their kids?
    The tragedy is, it’s poor and white and black working class kids stabbing each other (often black on black) but perhaps the kids need to get political.
    Political is the answer and they and us must fight more more youth resources and opportunities for young people including more community bobbies.
    We need to give the kids and families hope and Labour and trade unions will be proud to stand with them.
    We recently saw thousands of young people go on school strikes for Climate Change and perhaps this is a good example.
    Organise, organise, organise!

  8. There is a fascinating article in the Groan at the moment, entitled :

    “Antisemitism row: Corbyn staffer said member should not be suspended”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/mar/05/margaret-hodge-corbyn-misled-me-over-antisemitism-labour

    Why particularly fascinating? Simply because the import of the article, if read with an unpolluted mind, confirms the *opposite* of what is intended, and reveals the illogicality and bad faith of self-publicists like Hodge who ride on the back of the ‘antisemitism’ scam.

  9. The reduction of police numbers is definitely a factor. Another factor is the retail trade. Although there is a voluntary code for some retailers who sell knives it is clearly not being adhered to. Another contributing factor may be the age verification on delivery for online retailers, some who use third party couriers to deliver.

    Doctors warned the government at the beginning of February that high street sales of knives was helping to fuel the rise in stabbings, and called on retailers to do more to stem the tide of available weapons.

    The recent figures from NHS show that in 2017/18, 4,986 admissions to hospital were a result of knife or sharp object assault injuries. Admissions involving youngsters aged between 10 and 19 increased from 656 hospital admissions in 2012-13 up to 1,012 last year. Cases involving all young people – those aged 10-29 – made up nearly two-thirds (60%) of all admissions.

    Action does need to be taken as this is just another domestic issue the government is ignoring.

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