Another Day, Another Loss
Last night, another young man was murdered in Battersea, London.
Lejean Richards was working as a pizza delivery driver, getting his world back on track after falling into the wrong circles. But, just like that, the flame of life was cruelly extinguished by more senseless violence.
I live in the local area, and you can listen to my take on the situation in the video below. But there are no easy answers to this endemic problem.
When will it end? Nobody seems to have any solutions.
The problem of knife and gun crime in our cities is a multilayered, complex issue that needs to be handled thoughtfully and with empathy. To turn a knife on someone simply because they are from the wrong borough demonstrates a deep emotional pain in the mind of the killer that lies within communities.
To fix that, we need to rebuild trust between friends, families and their political leaders. Because, right now, there isn’t any - and that’s a problem.
On the enforcement side, the police need to be seen as stewards of the community rather than enemies. And that requires work on both sides of the divide. Our communities are extensions of our homes - places where we need to feel safe, secure and warm.
For the power of gangs to be curbed, we must radically reform the country’s approach to drug-related issues. The war on drugs has not worked in the USA and it is not working here. To take power away from criminal gangs, we need to have a serious conversation centred on decriminalization.
One thing’s for sure - this can’t go on. Let’s confront this problem with dignity and honesty, and make the radical changes necessary to stop the deaths.
Renew’s David Britten, from Battersea, comments on another murder in his local area.