Petition launched demanding urgent action on growing violence against children in “Wild West” Brent
PUBLISHED: 18:17 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:46 26 April 2019
A petition has been launched urging Brent’s MPs and councillors to deal with growing “rampant lawlessness” in the borough.
Parents have been smashed in the face with pieces of wood and muggings and assaults on children are a daily occurrence in Kensal Green, Kensal Rise, Queens Park and Harlesden.
The petition, Safer kids – Radical increase in muggings and violent assault on children in our neighbourhood – has more than 1,500 signatures since its launch yesterday.
The petition to MPs Dawn Butler, Barry Gardiner and Tulip Siddiq and Brent councillors Mili Patel, Matt Kelcher and Tom Miller asks for “immediate action” including greater police patrols, and more CCTV in key locations.
Anne Collet, who launched the petition, said: “Lawlessness is rampant and impunity is now rife in our neighbourhood. Our streets feel like the Wild West - anything goes, and no one can do a thing about it.
“Our group had a meeting on Tuesday and said something terrible is going to happen.”
Hours later a 21-year-old was fatally stabbed in Harlesden.
Daily crimes are occuring between 2pm and 7pm near schools and in parks by young people. “So much of what's happening is extremely disturbing. They come wearing balaclavas, often using knives, sometimes using steel bars. We had so many parents coming to us saying their kids had been mugged we set up a Safer Kids group. There's been a huge response with people joining -it's taken on a life of its own.”
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Parents who try and intervene are also assaulted.
“One parent was recently punched in the head in Roundwood Park numerous times in front of his son, and another parent had a plank of wood smashed into his face,” she added.
Most cases go unreported because victims fear reprisals and parents don't trust police will show up.
Group member and father of three Farid Shariff said: “It's escalated beyond belief in the last 12 months. My teenage son was mugged three times in five weeks. Statistically that's ridiculous. The police are too busy to deal with any of it, the government's not doing anything for us. The mayor talks about knife crime but he's running a business, I get it, but I'd rather money was spent on our children's future.”
“The parents are doing what they can. We are all lighting little fires but we need to get together, the different groups must join together.”
The petition also demands investment in local youth centres and more help for young people within the community.
Brent Council slashed £1million from youth services in 2015 as part of budget cuts.
MPs and councillors have been contacted.
To sign the petition go to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/safer-kids
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