A London based newspaper is aiming to tackle the scourge of teenage gang culture and knife crime on its patch through a new campaign.
Newsquest title The Enfield Independent launched its ‘Don’t Carry, Don’t Kill’ campaign in conjunction with MP for the area Nick de Bois. It calls for a specific law change which will see teenagers caught carrying knives given mandatory sentences.
Group editor of the North London Times & Independent group Martin Buhagiar said that gang culture is spreading in North London and would-be teenage murderers are carrying weapons every day and getting away with it.
In April a 15-year-old boy died after being stabbed in the chest after he tried to stop a gang stealing his 12-year-old brother’s phone.
Said Martin: “Of those caught carrying a knife last year 40pc were under the age of 18. It seems ludicrous to have a mandatory sentence for adults when so many teenagers are needlessly losing their lives.”
Last month the Government pledged that any adult caught in possession of a knife or bladed weapon would face a mandatory six month prison sentence. The proposed sentencing powers do not yet extend to those under the age of 18.
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois said: “I greatly welcome the Don’t Carry, Don’t Kill campaign launched by the Enfield Independent.
“This is a campaign of such critical importance to our community where we have seen all too tragic examples of fatal stabbings and serious injury.”
The paper has also printed a petition for readers to sign in the hope that the law will be changed in October.