Monday, 19 March 2007


Last week Wednesday saw the fatal stabbing of 16 year old Kodjo Yenga.

The Guardian reported on Friday that a post-mortem examination found that Kodjo, of Portland Road, west London, died from a single stab wound to the heart. Schoolchildren gathered and chanted "kill him" as the teenager was attacked in Hammersmith Grove on Wednesday afternoon, witnesses said.

Seven young males, all black and aged between 13 and 21, have been arrested over the murder.

Then Saturday saw another knife murder as 15 year old Adam Regis died from a single stab wound to the chest. The youngster from south-east London was the nephew of the British Olympic silver medal-winning sprinter John Regis. The police continue their hunt for "two hooded youths".

Many newspaper articles, forums and blogs are now drawing comparisons with these two terrible incidents and the three fatal shootings of black teenagers during February 2007 and are discussing the issue of “black-on-black crime”.

In fact the news has crossed the British border, with an Australian radio programme reporting that the fatal assault on Adam was the fifth gun or knife attack on a black teenager in London in six weeks, and has reinforced concerns about a growing "knife culture" in the capital.

An article I read in The Times this morning reported issues surrounding the death of Adam Regis by informing that 59% of people accused of knife robberies are black, as are 41% of people accused of knife crimes in general.

Communities secretary Ruth Kelly has played down the view that such violent attacks are widespread by stating while the deaths were tragic, similar crimes were not "sweeping the country". "Even though they are more prevalent than we'd like, [these are] still relatively isolated incidents which cause extraordinary grief and agony in particular communities."

Today on Choice FM radio station deejay Masterstepz called for parents to keep an eye on their kids and for youngsters to change their ways.

However the black community is going to need much more reassurance and assistance from the government, as a vast amount of people feel the issue of what has been dubbed “black-on-black crime” is getting out of hand.

Personally I'm tired of reading people pointing the finger, talking about what should be done without acting on and implementing their solutions and/or trying to play down such awful deaths; which may be "isolated incidents" however human life is being wasted. We need less talk and much more action.

Click here to read more about the tragic deaths of Kodjo and Adam.

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