Terry Ellis is a straight talking down the line type of guy. Having spent eight years incarcerated for his part in an Ocean’s Eleven type robbery dressed as a police officer, he is now spending his time making his voice heard to encourage youngsters to not join the life of crime.
In an interview with our London news section Terry talks about how to stop our youth from becoming offenders.
“I joined Camden Against Violence and now am part of the Change your life put down your knife campaign. I spend my time talking to youths telling them about the massive regrets I have after they way I lived my life. I try to persuade them against selling drugs and becoming part of that world. As when you go down that avenue, you then become a target.
“The approaches being used to tackle knife crime are all wrong. The Government just pour money into it with out really dealing with the issue. We need to get them from an early age, have a plan for them. Schools need to look into their emotional development, that is what is really lacking.”
Terry found light at the end of his long tunnel after being sent to Grendon, a theraputic prison where emotions are looked into.
“The Mental health aspect is vital when tackling knife crime. We need to look at the emotions of these youths. Are they growing up in poverty? Are they watching their mothers struggle to put food on the table? All these factors are important and need to be addressed when tackling knife crime.
“Doing therapy is vital, I learnt this in Grendon where looking at my emotions became vital. I learnt the skill to be articulate rather than just using my fists.”
Terry has gone on to write three books including ‘Living Amongst the beast’ and to work daily with youths in his area.
“We need to teach them in schools, parents need to be involved, it needs to be a joint operation to help our youngsters. There are days when I felt like knocking my head against the wall but thanks to Grendon and therapy I have learnt new skills. Now we must help our youth.”
Terry works in north London tackling knife crime. He works closely with other knife crime organisations and helps the police on regular weapon sweeps.