Justice?

Police have charged a Berkshire man for the daylight killing of teenager Keiran Crump Raiswell on a Manchester street on 16th January 2013. Raiswell died after being stabbed at a bus stop.

There are incidents like this happening frequently in the UK, some get reported in the media, whilst others don’t…I believe that all murders should be reported by our national press.  The tabloids should have a daily feature titled “Murderers Amongst Us”, a full page dedicated to the animals who think taking the life of another is acceptable behaviour.  Their names and crimes should be listed so that people can know what really goes on in their communities, instead of reading which celebrity is on which diet and who is wearing the best clothes.

This is reality people! Stop allowing the media to manipulate you and know what it is to live with your own sight, your own views and the truth of the situation we live in and refuse to actively do anything to resolve.

Firearms offences are down by 40% compared to figures published nearly a decade ago…this is down to the commitment of dedicated police officers…that statistic could be lowered further if people had a sense of what was happening around them and the gumption to report it.  When we close our eyes to truth, that is when we make the fundamental choice to say “this is our world and yet, we don’t care”.

It’s about time someone gave a damn instead of complaining about it over a cup of tea, instead of turning the page or flicking through the TV channels…instead of waiting until it happens to them or someone they love.

Ignorance isn’t a virtue…it’s a convenient cop-out for cowardice.

Interview with Desire McNeish

What is P.A.G.A.K.C?

A:  P.A.G.A.K.C stands for People Against Gun And Knife Crime.  It is a foundation dedicated to spreading awareness, inspiring the youth, putting on events, going to schools and doing work shops, helping the community, working with other organisations etc. with an aim to stop this violent behaviour we see on our streets.

 

What is your role there?

A:  I’m the founder of the foundation and unfunded, I do most of the lessons/workshops and fund the foundation and activities myself.

 

What is your goal/aim with your charity in the long term?

A:  The aim is to stop gun and knife crime, teach kids alternative ways to channel their aggression and to avoid situations and people hell bent on destructive behaviour.

Also, to unite foundations and work with other community leaders, in order to best support youth and the community.

 

What events have you organised so far and what have these achieved?

A:  I would love to see the government help us after they awarded us with a Peace Prize Certification in 2011.  The gesture would be the next step in continued support for what we do.

 

To ensure the future success of P.A.G.A.K.C, which organisations would need to be involved and what role would they need to play?

A:  The same answer as above.

 

What events do you have planned for the imminent future of P.A.G.A.K.C that might encourage others to get involved?

A:  We are in talks with a company to do a documentary for TV on the issue and hope to put on a big event near the end of this year, God willing.

 

I believe that music and media play a huge part in influencing our youth regards to gun and knife crime.  What are your views on this matter?

A:  I also believe this and while some would disagree I can’t see how they are so blind.

 

You are an up and coming music influence in the UK, what things have you put in place to ensure the youth of the UK take only positive messages from your music?

A:  I’m an underground artist waiting, working, pushing towards becoming an over-ground artist. I don’t swear, I don’t use racism, sexism or any isms in my music.  I believe music should unite people, make people feel emotion and/or tell a story.

I will not say that I will not have sexy women in my videos or that I may make music videos with action in. But I draw a line between fiction and reality and I hope that would be evident in my work.

 

Tell us about your imminent single release.

A:  my record label is very happy with my latest work, and at the moment they are deciding between four tracks as my single:

  1.  I don’t claim to be the hardest
  2.  she could see me
  3.  I was wrong
  4.  it ain’t about love

 

Are there any other organisations you’re involved in that also raise awareness for this cause?

A:  At the moment I help Boxing Evolution, Mamma, Mothers Against Guns, Williams Foundation , Princess Trust,  many youth centres, Bernardo’s Trust Etc.

 

In your opinion, what needs to happen to prevent deaths of this nature from happening in the future?

A:  I believe stronger deterrents like boot camp, some form of physical way of releasing aggression, martial arts, boxing etc.

Better education on how to deal with their anger effectively and positively. Community work making kids proud of where they live, cleaning graffiti etc.

And finally, more youth clubs with activities for youths and teens.

 

In 2012, 0.5% of all crime in the UK was gun and knife related.  How do you think this figure compares to the rest of the world?

A:  I would say its low but still not low enough…no child or adult should die at the hands of another. We do not have the right to be judge and executioner (sadly, on the world stage, we condone our armies doing just that).

 

I’d like to say a big thank you to Desire for his time today and wish him all the luck and happiness in his future.

For those wishing to know more about P.A.G.A.K.C just Google it, there are many links there that will take you to view the many things Desire has achieved so far.

 

Breaking the Stereo-Type

When we think about gun and knife crime in the UK, people automatically stereo-type it as gang killings, drug related incidents, all relative to our youth. Most imagine hoodies, black skin, broken homes and inner city mentalities. Over time, I have learned that these stereo-types belong to middle working class minds or people who think media influence is akin to religion – all truthful and worship-worthy.

And yes, my own stereo-typing is intentional here…for isnt that what every individual does? Isn’t it true that we like to judge others, place them in little decorated mind boxes and please ourselves in finding comfort in our assumptions?

Two men in their 40’s were stabbed to death in Birmingham yesterday, on busy streets full of shoppers at 17:50 GMT. A man was arrested minutes after the stabbings, but police are appealing for witnesses…there are potentially 100’s of witnesses.

These killings don’t fit the stereotype, yet it doesn’t make them any less real. When things don’t fit our stereo-typical expectations, we tend to turn a blind eye because we aren’t comfortable with what we perceive to be “different from the norm”.

If you were in Birmingham last night and you saw anything at all, however insignificant you deem it to be…come forward, speak up and contact West Midlands Police…these senseless killings won’t stop until we, as a nation, say “enough is enough”, stand together and raise our voice.

http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/contact-us/reporting-crime/

A Time to Remember

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the deaths of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis, killed when gang members in Aston, Birmingham opened fire with a machine gun outside a New Year Party.  They had decided to exact a revenge killing on a rival gang member, but instead fired into the crowd, killing these innocent young women and depriving them of beautiful futures.

I wish to take this opportunity to give praise to their mothers, Marcia Shakespeare and Beverley Thomas, who have campaigned tirelessly since their devastating loss, to rid their city of gangs and guns, so that the youth of the future don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.

I wanted to report on this yesterday as I believe it would have been a more fitting gesture, but it would’ve been my late husband’s 50th Birthday.  Grief is something you never completely understand unless you have experienced it first-hand and what the mothers of Letisha and Charlene have been forced to endure is something beyond explanation.

My message to them is this:  Never give up what you are doing because statistics prove that you are making a difference in this world by educating others through your experiences. Your courage and determination through such adversity is an inspiration to all, may it continue.

 

 

Hello to 2013!!

It’s 9.30am and my household is still asleep, no doubt avoiding the effects of last night’s celebrations – I can envisage several headaches worming their way into my lounge before lunchtime today.

I visited Facebook already and the world of social networking seems a happy and positive place…I thank the Mayans whole-heartedly for getting it wrong, although I must say that if power companies would’ve switched off for just 10 minutes on the 21st December 2012, I would’ve found it highly amusing.

BBC News – England has just updated the headlines for the day and instead of allowing the ladies of the UK to perv over naked pictures of Prince Harry, we get to see the New Year’s firework display in London.  It’s quite a realisation that yes, even Prince Harry has skin beneath his clothes!

On a serious note, my prayers go to the family of a Blackpool man swept into the sea last night…being a widow, it’s not the kind of news I’d wish on anybody on any day of the year, let alone the first day of a new year.

In this month of January, I intend to discuss gun and knife related crime in the UK. I will introduce you to a charity that is actively raising awareness and attempting to find solutions to curb our growing gang and gun culture by offering advice, activities and workshops to our youth in London.  I will also conduct an interview with the CEO of that charity – an up and coming music artist named Desire McNeish whose first single will be released this year by Universal Records.

On that note, I’d like to draw your attention to a Police Appeal to trace a 15 year old boy they want to speak to in connection with the murder of a 17-year-old in south-east London. All details can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-20879826

These crimes happen because we allow them to…their prevention happens when as mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings etc. we protect our children – that protection doesn’t come from hiding what they are involved in, it comes from tough love, from honest talking and from teaching them to own up to their mistakes and paying the price for them. When one person kills another and suffers no consequence it is probable that they will kill another…as a parent who keeps quiet when their child takes the life of another human being, you’re giving a clear message that it was ok and will be ok again.  Your words to them mean nothing when your actions have spoken volumes.

I wish to wish you all a Happy New Year! Thank you for taking the time to read me today, it’s appreciated.