Switch the T.V or Radio on right now and you are bound to soon hear about the latest tragic inner-city youth stabbing or person being shot dead for having a slightly different postcode or belonging to a different gang. Britain certainly seems to be having a problem at the moment, and coming from a south London council estate myself I find it very concerning.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on what can solve this problem, usually involving a long prision sentence (or worse if you listen to some TalkSport callers) but I found the suggestion from a group called “Churches together in England” to be quite interesting. They are suggesting that clergy move into some of the most badly affected areas and act as role models to those perpetrating the crime and belonging to the gangs.
Could this work? I genuinely believe that one of the major reasons some young people involve themselves in activities like this is because they have not had strong enough role models in their lives, and as such have looked at Gangster rappers and 70’s Gangster movies (just two examples) to provide templates, as well as “Ghetto” life in the USA, but I dont believe this is the primary cause.
Could these clergy really have such an effect that teenagers all over London and elsewhere who arm themselves because they are GENUINELY scared would be willing to follow a different path? or would an influx of white middle class men (or women) be seen merely as do-gooders and interferers, and put themselves in danger spreading a message that could be seem as other-wrodlty and completely out of sync with everyday life in these areas?
The Churches Together report is at: http://www.churches-together.net/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=27798