Violence in London: Ex-gang members reveal why they carried knives and how they think crime in the capital can be solved

Funmi OlutoyeSaturday 7 Apr 2018 11:26 am

This year so far, more than 50 people have died as a result of violent crime in London.

Many of the cases are suspected to be linked to gang culture and criminal activity.

The thought of carrying a knife or a gun doesn’t even come to mind for the majority of the population in the UK.

But for some, it’s a daily reality and, in their belief, a necessity. spoke to former gang members to find out why they used to carry weapons on London’s streets and how they think violent crime can be solved in the capital.

All names have been changed. Russell, 23 I was 15 when I kept a shotgun. A year earlier I was carrying knives.

I did this because I was stabbed at 13 in a case of mistaken identity. So, for me, that’s why I had to carry these weapons to protect myself.

Carrying it made me feel powerful, like I had the upper hand. I’ve used a knife and a gun on someone before.

I’ve even seen someone die right in front of me who was stabbed.

I look back now and even though it was an unfortunate situation, I’ve learned from it. It’s my knowledge of these bad situations that now help me encourage others to stop living that life.

The problem is that there are no opportunities in our area to do anything.

No-one has a sense of purpose and so there is no value for our neighbour.

My Christian faith is what saved me ultimately. Every week I go to a local fellowship where we teach each other

about the Bible and love for one another. Until people on the ends can experience this type of love, they will never stop.

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Hunter, 21 All my friends had a knife or other weapons on them. But for me it was mainly a self-defence mechanism.

Read more: violence-in-london-ex-gang-members-reveal-why-they-carried-knives.




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