Happy new decade!
I love the start of a new year and one that kicks off a new decade is full of possibilities for change and to build upon positive initiatives.
The end of 2019 was marred for us as my eldest son Archie was attacked whilst he waited for his bus after school at Southgate Tube station. As he walked to get on the bus, his attacker, who was part of a group of 16-17 year olds, came up behind him, pulled his backpack and started punching him. Archie shrugged off his backpack and turned to defend himself against the blows but was hit in the face leaving him with a huge bloodied cut lip and swollen cheek as well as losing his glasses in the process. The attacker ran off with his school bag which had nothing of use, except of course to Archie. This all took place in front of a bus full of people. The driver initially called the police but after the attacker tried to follow Archie onto the bus he drove away presumably to keep people safe.
Unfortunately, this is not an unusual occurrence; the day previous to Archie’s attack another student was assaulted. A week later, two others were attacked. We all know police resources are extremely limited but because incidents aren’t reported there is insufficient data to be able to form the argument for more resources. As a result the perpetrators think they’re invincible and continue with this pattern as no one stops them.
I can understand why people don’t want to get involved; the increase in knife crime makes us all worried that intervening may result in serious or deadly injury. But we can’t keep turning a blind eye; we have to come together as a community to tackle these issues and make our next decade safer for us all; and you can help. There are groups that have formed in response to the rise in knife crime and also to attacks predominantly against school students – Southgate Street Watch, Love Your Doorstep & Stop Knife Crime in Muswell Hill. These groups are seeking volunteers from the local community to help increase the number of visible patrols at the end school day or for businesses to provide safe places. Love Your Doorstep has seen a 48% decrease in crime on their patrolled routes so it’s really worth getting involved and making a difference. So let’s get behind these groups, support and grow them and make our communities stronger and safer.
If you’d like some more information about any of these groups including volunteering please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you a very happy 2020!