Ilford South MP Mike Gapes today visited New City's College's Redbridge campus to hear the views of young people about knife crime and how they felt it could be tackled.
Mr Gapes visited the campus, located on Chadwell Heath and participated in an in-depth discussion with young people examining the causes of knife crime and identifying potential solutions.
The students identified the causes as many and varied and felt it could include gang cultures, social media, cuts in public funding, a loss of community and youth group and the behaviour of the media which they felt over-sensationalised incidents with their tone and language.
They also criticized an often lazy fallback of racial stereotypes, and an inconsistent sentencing policy at courts for perpetrators. Some also saw music genres and artists playing a part in glorifying violence and gangs.
To tackle the issue, the students all agreed that everyone at all levels should be involved and that the voices of young people needed to be heard.
Mr Gapes said:
It was great to meet the students at New City College today and discuss this important issue with them. They are very informed and aware and it is so important that their voice is heard in finding solutions to help tackle this issue, which is a concern to many families and communities across the country.
Narzny Khan, Deputy Principal, New City College Redbridge campus said:
Our students had lots of ideas and comments on this important issue, which they weren't shy to share with Mr Gapes. We are grateful to him coming down and talking with them and hopefully their views can be articulated in Parliament in the future.