Young Man Stabbed to Death, St Paul’s Way Tower Hamlets, 26th May 2019
A young man has died after allegedly being stabbed 7 times in broad daylight on St Paul’s Way, Tower Hamlets on Sunday 26th May. Background circumstances are unknown and police are treating it as a murder investigation. His family has said he was an innocent victim trying to break up a fight/argument and that he had nothing to do with gangs or drugs.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family in this extremely difficult time of loss and mourning.
A heart wrenching graphic video is circulating of the young man writhing in a pool of blood in the middle of the road while others are desperately trying to call an ambulance.
Unfortunately, these horrific scenes are not new in our borough. Last year there were 25 young men who were admitted to the local hospital for stab wounds, some of them life-threatening. There have also been countless armed clashes between groups and individuals in the Borough.
We know that serious violence is on the increase and in particular knife crime has hit the headlines in recent years. Although there are no easy quick solutions to this problem, there are proven models of interventions that can help reduce levels of violence and crime in communities. However, this takes serious commitment and willingness on behalf of all stakeholders, from local authorities to communities.
The Council and Police have critical roles to play and also hold the resources and have the statutory responsibility to tackle this. However well-intentioned, they may lack the local knowledge, reach and the ability to empower and mobilise communities.
Local communities, including young people, and their organisations, networks and infrastructures are crucial to tackling this complex issue. Third sector anchor organisations, influential youth and community leaders that have the reach and influence in communities amongst young people, families and residents must be empowered, coordinated and resourced to intervene to tackle this urgent problem. Whole community education and awareness is required.
Urgent early intervention work is required at the school level and children’s support services for those at risk to ensure young people do not end up being failed by the system and that adequate support is available to turn their lives around. Parents and families need help to tackle multiple deprivation and challenges at home.
Visible and well-resourced targeted detached and outreach work is required as well as diversionary programmes for young people that actually make a difference to their lives.
Further support is required to help young people back into education, training and/or employment
The direct links between drugs and serious violence is well documented. ‘There are very strong links between gangs and the local drug trade with Tower Hamlets having the highest number of known heroin and crack cocaine users in London.’ Much more needs to be done urgently on this front to make our borough safer. Many young people have told us they carry knives to feel safe as a precaution.
Building on its decades of youth work, gang mediation and youth violence intervention experience the Osmani Trust is working on a Community Strategy to Tackle Serious Violence in Tower Hamlets which aims to propose a more comprehensive solution from a community perspective whilst working with key stakeholders such as statutory services, local businesses, young people and key community networks and assets.
Whilst some good work is happening from the local authority and the third sector, much of it is disconnected, uncoordinated and often under-resourced. We are proposing a more comprehensive approach that involves research, early prevention, and intervention and community partnerships.
One-off knee jerk public meetings or poster campaigns usually has no lasting impact on the ground. What is required is a well-resourced strategic long term approach that actually delivers evidence-based interventions in partnership with local communities and all sectors.
We will be consulting and seeking support and partnerships with local authorities, social landlords, businesses, third sector, young people and local residents and will be organising a public launch of the strategy soon.
For more information or to offer advice and support or get involved please contact;
0207 247 8080