22 Police officers injured as youth riot in Brixton-by Courtney Barrett.


The Havering Daily’s Knife Crime Correspondent Courtney Barrett today writes:


Last night there were extremely disturbing scenes on the streets of Brixton. A large street party that took place turned into what can only be described as a riot.

Brixton street party which was attended by hundreds of revellers, descended into chaos after a gunshot was heard. Hundreds of the party-goers were seen fleeing from the incident running down the road in terror. Soon after, the police arrived, and then the mayhem and violence ensued. Youths started running amok on the streets of Brixton, pelting the police with bottles and missiles and anything else they could get their hands on. Some even brandished weapons, threatening the police with swords and knives. 

The police who only wore hi-vis vests, were forced to retreat as they were vastly outnumbered. None were wearing riot gear or protective clothing. 22 police officers were injured in total, with two needing hospital treatment.

WHY THIS IS HAPPENING?

It’s extremely sad to see that there are youths that think behaving in this manner is acceptable! It’s also sad to see that nobody is learning from past experiences and incidents. The Met police are some of the finest and bravest citizens in London, and they are there to protect us from danger. Unfortunately, though a lot of youths feel oppressed by the police due to experiencing victimisation or racial profiling. Some also feel oppressed by society due to the lack of prospects and opportunities for them. 

It’s been 9 years since the 2011 Tottenham riots and it doesn’t seem like we as a nation have learned a thing! The current BLM protests, along with the racial tension in the country, has also added to some youths’ perceptions of society and has affected how they behave when faced with the police. This incident was nothing to do with the recent Black Lives Matter protests or any other incident, but it blatantly shows us that there is another big problem within our society. Youth culture!

When I had a meeting with police commisioner Cressida Dick, she stated that the police need to start building relationships with the youth of today. But what I actually witness more often than not, are police officers stop and searching youths and treating them like they are already guilty of a crime. 

As the Director of Binning Knives Saves Lives CIC, I am all for police stop and searches. The more the better. That’s not the issue. The issue is how the stop and searches are conducted. I’ve witnessed so many terrible stop and searches made by the police, which ultimately makes the detained person not trust the police. I also witness good stop and searches, and the detained person usually always then respects the police. The police really need to start building relationships, instead of making enemy’s with our youths, before it’s too late. These youths are our country’s future, and at the moment that is a very worrying prospect.

SOLUTIONS:

The police must start dealing with the issues at hand, and start building relationships with the communitiess and youths. 
Community leaders need to nurture youths and show them that there are prospects and opportunities’s for them in life. Being that genuine and caring person goes a long way to changing a youth’s mindset.
Parents need to start caring what their children are up to because half of them think their kids are angels and don’t even know what their kids are actually getting up to.

Youths need to start valuing their lives, and realising that the police are there for them, and not against them. A lot of youths feel like life’s pointless and they have nothing to lose. So it’s down to us as parents to show them differently. Their lives could depend on it!

SUMMARY:
The youths of today don’t like or trust the police, and to be honest, I can see why. The police have to start being pro-active in making friends and building relationships with youths before last night’s events become regular occurrences across the country. If they can do that it will make their job less dangerous, and will prevent further public disorder incidents like we saw last night.

Youths are to blame for their own actions, but I do blame some of their parents too, as they are responsible for their youths in my eyes. 
The police are the only ones who can put an end to the worrying trend that seems to have taken hold in our country. Riots protests, and fighting the police is not what anybody wants to see. Least of all the police. 
I urge Cressida Dick to put her promise into practice, because up to now I’ve seen no evidence of police building relationships with the youth of our country. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Parents need to realise that their son or daughter could get caught up in a similar incident. Half of the youths rioting last night are not bad kids. They were at a party and got sucked into the situation as it unfolded. It could quite feasibly happen to anyone at any time. A similar incident only took place in Harlow last week where there was a shooting at a party. So parents, have a talk with your children and make sure they know how to behave and what to do if they get caught up in such a situation. 

It’s also a great idea to teach your children how to conduct themselves if stopped and searched by police. How they behave when stopped has a big bearing on how they are treated.

Please please please, check your kids now and then, to make sure they aren’t carrying any weapons. Randomly check their bedroom, their bag, and even their person sometimes. You may be surprised at what you find. A lot of good kids are arming themselves with knives due to being scared. Make sure your child isn’t one of those who ends up dead or in prison because they chose to carry a knife.

Courtney Barrett.


BE AWARE – BE SAFE – BE SMART 

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