Rod Liddle

It’s time to get real about gang violence in London

12 May 2018

9:00 AM

12 May 2018

9:00 AM

Hey, Londoners — been stabbed or shot yet this week? Just thought I’d check as the place seems to resemble, in its violence, downtown Mogadishu right now — and indeed is graced with many of the same kinds of people. That’s probably why you haven’t been stabbed or shot yet: the murdering has been committed exclusively, so far as I can tell, within the minority ethnic communities by young men who are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. So you’re safe for a while, until they’ve all been used up and the stabby shooty young men get around to you.

Given this demographic, you might be surprised that the campaigning organisation Black Lives Matter UK has been silent about this epidemic, leading many of us to suspect that BLMUK thinks black lives matter only when whitey is doing the killing and that otherwise it’s nothing to write home about. But by the same token, the rest of us have not become too animated, have we? Our city’s murder rate so far has overtaken that of New York’s and is approaching Detroit’s. Some 62 people have been bumped off since the start of 2018 and in the year to September 2017 there were 37,443 recorded knife crimes and 6,694 recorded gun crimes. I suspect that if the murder victims had been nice little old white ladies called Betty, this carnage would have captured a bit more of our attention.

But then simply to point out these crimes have been exclusively, or almost exclusively, by ethnic minorities is to be cast as a racist by the usual crew of idiots. They will show you statistics that prove that elsewhere in the UK, white people commit more murders than black people: whites kill people too, you see! This hilarious non-sequitur serves to close down debate on the issue and leaves both the BME communities and indeed the liberals mired in the usual delusions and acquired sense of victimhood.


The delusions begin in the home, of course. The latest dead kid is Rhyhiem Barton, aged 17. As you might have probably guessed, Rhyhiem was an aspiring architect. That’s how his mum, Pretana Morgan, described him, as well as being good as gold and definitely not a gang member. She also revealed that he had recently been sent back to Jamaica for ‘his own safety’. Pretana did not reveal exactly what or who had threatened Rhyhiem’s safety over here. Perhaps one of his building designs had aroused the fury of Richard Rogers, who had consequently vowed to ‘get him’. Or maybe not just Rogers but the whole of the RIBA, who knows? We also know, from other sources, that the boy was actually a member of the Moscow17 drill crew and it is believed he was shot by members of a rival gang. In his spare time, Rhyhiem also liked to do a bit of rapping: ‘We are at war with the fucking cops’ was one of his good-as-gold, pacific observations.

So there’s that delusion, which we might pass over because Mrs Morgan is a grieving mother. The other delusions are rather less easy to forgive. The Labour MP David Lammy was far from alone in demanding an end to police stop-and-search procedures because they were — of course — raaaccisst. And so police did indeed halt the stop and search of suspicious-looking young men and instead used stop and search only when they were close to certain that a crime was about to be committed. I wonder how many deaths might have been prevented if they had been allowed to continue using their discretion?

Mr Lammy also complained that there were insufficient police officers around to prevent crime in the most deprived areas of London, including his constituency. Amusingly enough, he was making this very point to a TV crew at an earlier murder scene, describing how neighbourhood policing has ‘vanished’, when the television audience could see, over his shoulder, a uniformed PC looking on from a distance with a bemused expression.

But more to the point, Lammy wants the police to be present but doesn’t want them actually to do anything because that would be raacccissst. It is genuinely difficult to express how truly mind-numbingly stupid that standpoint actually is. But then it’s part of the wider delusion, that the murders have nothing whatsoever to do with the culture of the ethnic minorities who both commit them and are victims of them, because white people are capable of murder too. And yet these same liberals will also argue — correctly, in my opinion — that we are doing little to stop the crimes because we don’t care enough about black people killing each other. But you can’t hold both of those beliefs simultaneously unless you are a halfwit.

There is, patently, a problem of gang membership and violence among young men within some of our ethnic minorities. Which is why the police would tend to frisk some blinged-up black kid rather than a nice little white old lady called Betty. None of this is to suggest that any but a small minority within these communities are criminally inclined. And for sure, some wholly innocent people will have their collars felt, which will be a source of irritation and rancour to them. So what, if the policy saves a life?

I’m a Millwall fan. When fans travel to away games they are subjected to the most onerous restrictions and are chaperoned everywhere they go by the old bill, marched through town centres, not allowed to stop, not allowed to get taxis, and so on. And the police do this because a very small proportion of our supporters travel to away games with something short of peaceable intent. You know this, the police know this — and we know this. So we don’t complain, truly annoying though it is from time to time. But we are not in a state of denial and do not have a retinue of liberals insisting we’re victims of police oppression.

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