Caught in gang war on school run

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Silent Earth

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Caught in a gang war on the school

run

One mother’s terrifying account of why her middle-class

neighbourhood suddenly doesn’t feel so safe any more...

By Lisa Brinkworth

Last updated at 8:15 AM on 8th March 2012

Walking home from school, my two eldest sons, then aged four and five, were chomping

their way through Rice Krispie cakes bought at a school sale, while I pushed their baby

brother in a pram beside them.

Typically for 3.30pm in the part of North-West London where we live, the pavements were

awash with children and pushchairs. This area, with its wide tree-lined avenues, smart family

homes and good schools, is hugely popular with young families.

We were almost home when four-year-old Zach pleaded to be allowed to put the rest of his

cake money towards his favourite Fireman Sam magazine.

We’d just left our local newsagent’s, magazine firmly in my little son’s hand, when we

suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a 12-strong gang of hooded youths who were

chasing a girl who looked no older than 14.

One grabbed her and started battering her with an umbrella, but she managed to get away.

Then the youths gave chase, throwing bottles and shouting obscenities. It looked as though

they meant to kill her.

As members of a rival gang appeared from nowhere, bottles rained down all around us.

When one ricocheted off the pram canopy — waking my one-year-old with a start — I froze.

A bottle skimmed Zach’s head, missing him by millimetres,

glass smashing around his feet - later I found shards in his

shoes

As a journalist, I’d devoted years to infiltrating London’s violent teenage gangs, and filmed

two TV documentaries on the subject. Slowly gaining their confidence, I got close to several

of the hardest gang members, entering drug dealer-controlled ‘no-go’ zones where even the

police wouldn’t venture.

I’d wanted to understand what triggered their anti-social behaviour and to help them

articulate their feelings without resorting to violence. But as a mother of three vulnerable

children terrified by this pack of youths, my overwhelming instinct was to protect my

offspring.

Grabbing my sons and frantically pushing the pram with one hand, I rushed to get them

home as quickly as possible. Then to my horror, Zach broke free of my grip and blindly ran

back into what was now a full-on turf war.

he’d dropped his magazine, which had been trampled underfoot, its pages scattered across

the pavement. Oblivious to the mayhem, he attempted to gather it up as tears rolled down

his cheeks.

Terrified for him, I pulled the pram and my five-year-old back towards where Zach now stood

rooted to the spot as more gang members came tearing up a side street.

I heard myself scream as a bottle skimmed Zach’s head, missing him by millimetres, glass

smashing around his feet — later I found shards in his shoes. Then I did something I never

thought I’d do: I ran, clutching my terrified children. In my panic, I lost control of the pram

which swerved precariously and almost overturned twice.

Our cakes spilled out over the pavement. It was the wrong thing to do, of course. I’d drawn

attention to my fleeing family, and a splinter group gave chase after us, calling out ‘get the

whities’. Seeing this terrifying drama unfold before them, passers-by and locals sped up

steps, pounded on front doors or sought protection in porches.

We reached our home and I released my screaming baby from his pram, which I left

abandoned with our bags outside, and practically threw my boys inside the front door,

locking it behind us — my legs had turned to jelly and breathlessness and searing chest pain

convinced me I was having a heart attack.

Last summer, a young mother was shot at just two blocks

from our home, while holding her young baby...

I called the police, but other than recalling the fear etched in the features of the young girl

who was being hunted down like a dog — her repeated, helpless yells of ‘I don’t have it, I

don’t have it’, echoing round my head — I realised that I was a useless witness.

I was unable to give a description of any one of the perpetrators. My focus had been fixed

firmly on my children. In the safety of our home, I was still trembling as I picked tiny glass

fragments out of Zach’s socks and tried to calm my three sobbing boys. I could only thank

God that none of us had been seriously hurt.

If those youths had been carrying knives or guns, the outcome could have been so much

worse. Recently, the Metropolitan Police has announced a crackdown on London’s gangs —

and it has come not a minute too soon.

Police estimate that almost 5,000 people are involved in 250 gangs in the capital.

This pernicious gang culture is embedding itself into all of Britain’s major cities. It exposes

our children not just to danger but to a distorted view of young adulthood that is more like the

crime-ridden pockets in New York’s notorious Bronx neighbourhood. In recent years, there

has been a spate of stabbings within a half-mile radius of our home in Maida Vale. A 14-

year-old pupil from our local secondary school died of a stab wound to his neck.

Another pupil at the same school was stabbed four times in the stomach in the street just

opposite ours. Then, last summer, a young mother was shot at just two blocks from our

home, while holding her young baby. However, bottles seem to be the weapon of choice for

many of these thugs — ‘bottling’ a person carries a lesser sentence than a knife attack.

Ironically, we moved to this area six years ago because it seemed safer than our previous

address in West London where my husband was knocked unconscious and had his jaw

shattered in a vicious, unprovoked assault by youths. But now it seems nowhere in our cities

is immune to the gang rivalry spilling over from neighbouring districts.

Our street no longer feels safe — groups of hooded, spliff-smoking youths patrol the

pavements as though they own them. Just weeks ago, when late for school pick-up, I

challenged a group of teenagers to make way for my pram, asking them if they really

expected me to push my child into the busy road.

They turned on me, becoming verbally abusive and threatening. Determined not to be a

victim for a second time, I pushed my way through them. And then a bottle was thrown in my

direction — it smashed into a parked car nearby.

Now, when my children are with me, I’ve decided such bravado is foolhardy. If I see a group

of youths in our street, we circle the block before approaching our flat, or go to a nearby

restaurant and call my husband to come and collect us. There is not a night that I don’t hear

a siren close by.

More than once I have awoken to see the end of our road cordoned off by police after yet

another gang-related crime. A year on, my two elder sons still have nightmares. Our walk

home from school is once again filled with laughter and stories, but as we turn into our

street, one of the boys will usually ask: ‘Are the baddies here today, Mummy?’

We’ve now decided to move out to the countryside, albeit close enough to the city so that the

boys can still go to the same excellent schools. But thousands of other families don’t have

that choice. I just hope the police crackdown will enable them to finally sleep soundly in their

beds.

Since 2012 there has been no noticeable improvement in the appalling crime rate in London

Wiki is one source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_London
 

jimLE

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that story is a great read...and the bad thing of it is..it's that way in every country right now..and it's getting worse with each week/month...and it'll be even worse then that after tshtf happens..
 

Gazrok

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Well, if they'd let citizens have guns, may have been a bit of a different outcome, instead of everyone pounding on doors to get away....
 

Silent Earth

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Its even worse in Londonistan now, Its growing by 100,000 people a year mainly ethnic minoritiys, VIOLENT crime is up 18% including stabbings, shootings, robbery and rape. its compounded the fact that the police have had to abandon their STOP AND SEARCH policy which was aimed at ethnic street gangs. The Ethnic community complained about racial profiling even though the crimes is 90% attributed to minorities and most of the victims are minorities themselves so the police had to stop targetting young blacks and asians in groups. Now those migrants are claiming the cops are neglecting them because nearly every stabbing happens to a minority even though its being done by minorities..............................................................
 

grayghost668

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and Clinton and Obama want to bring more of this trash into the USA,,,,,,I hope Trump slams the door on them,we have enough crime,but if he does not send them all to Chicago do away with the police force and we will watch and see who wins
 

Haliboy

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I think the focus should be on how to handle the event rather than the state of gangs. The mother seems to have a bleeding heart for these thugs. When you are in the middle of a mob is not the time for a bleeding heart or you may end up with one. Seek the shortest route out of there with your family, keeping in mind that the shortest route out of the mob may not be the one in the direction of your home, just get to a safe place and plan your way home from there.

If in a car, keep slowly moving the car but do not run over anyone. This of course does not apply to a peaceful blockage but to an unruly mob. If you do run someone over the mob mindset will turn to one of vengeance against you rather than just a general desire to cause chaos.
 

grayghost668

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I think the focus should be on how to handle the event rather than the state of gangs. The mother seems to have a bleeding heart for these thugs. When you are in the middle of a mob is not the time for a bleeding heart or you may end up with one. Seek the shortest route out of there with your family, keeping in mind that the shortest route out of the mob may not be the one in the direction of your home, just get to a safe place and plan your way home from there.

If in a car, keep slowly moving the car but do not run over anyone. This of course does not apply to a peaceful blockage but to an unruly mob. If you do run someone over the mob mindset will turn to one of vengeance against you rather than just a general desire to cause chaos.

at that point I say gun the engine and to hell with anyone who gets run over,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

Haliboy

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grayghost668 have you ever gone from 0-60mph with 5 rows of bodies in front of it and more on the side and back? Might work with one body, not sure about 7 or 8.

Mobs happen in all sorts of conditions, not one solution for them all.

It is all just theory on my end, please feel free to share any experiences in this area.
 

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