John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, March 18, 2005
  Good news from Leicester (Killers Convicted)
The conviction of the New Years Killers in Leicester is very good news today. This proves to the communities of Birmingham that working through the system is the way to go.

Historically many shootings are actually retaliatory shootings. Such gang warfare tends to escalate. Although reported as "turf wars" generally that is not the case. The only solution to a continuing range of tit-for-tat retaliations is to use the police and the judicial process so that justice is done and seen to be done.

The following is our statement:

The court case
The message is that the West Midlands Police will investigate and prosecute any offence whoever is the victim. We are pleased that the black community has worked closely with the police on this case.

The aftermath
We have to recognise that the killing of these girls was the tip of an iceberg caused by a breakdown in society. Some young people, often black boys, in certain areas see getting involved in criminal gangs as an easy route to power, money and in their minds a type of respect. This must be shown to be wrong and that it is not tolerated in particular by their own community. The first step to resolving this lies in Education. Sadly there are some schools that are impacted heavily by gang culture. To deal with this means a greater involvement from the community, particularly the faith community. The black churches and other organisations are organisations in which black people are seen as leaders.

There is a need to support the authority of teachers in schools in maintaining discipline enabling all children of all cultures to progress into lawful careers.

The City Council is developing partnership working with grass roots organisations because one agency can have a knock on effect on another organisation. This will involve additional support to organisations willing to work in partnership to achieve our objectives.

We will also be appointing unpaid Ambassadors to encourage engagement. There will be four Ambassadors appointed and there will be consultation with the Caribbean British Community about this. These four Ambassadors will cover the four issues of political engagement, educational achievement, employment and encouraging enterprise. These will be people in the Caribbean British Community who are well known and have a solid track record such as Bishop Dr Joe Aldred.

It is also important to celebrate the achievements of the Caribbean British Community. Many British people of Caribbean heritage have done very well and we should welcome their successes.
 
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