Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Victims' Parents Join City Hall Summit to Search for Solution; Proven Record: Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Victims' Parents Join City Hall Summit to Search for Solution; Proven Record: Deputy Mayor Ray Lewis

Article excerpt

Byline: PIPPA CRERAR

THE parents of murdered schoolboys Kiyan Prince and James Smartt-Fordwill attend a summit at City Hall today to look at long-term measures to tackleknife crime.

Ray Lewis, deputy mayor for young people, will set out plans to deal with thewave of youth violence which has claimed the lives of 15 young people in Londonso far this year.

The former prison governor said there was "no magic solution" but said he wouldlook at what was driving teenagers to violence in the first place..

Mayor Boris Johnson has pledged to use "every strand" of his power to preventknife and gun crime spiralling out of control.

He is understood to be concentrating on the root causes of youth violence inorder to improve the situation longterm rather than focusing solely on gettingweapons off the streets.

Mr Lewis said the Mayor was intent on offering "outlets and guidance"such as sports and after-school activitiesto help persuade teenagers away from a life of crime.

"These horrific crimes devastate families and we need to all work together totreat the profound contempt for society and lack of selfrespect that hasalarmingly developed in some of our young people," he said.

"The Mayor's office is committed to putting in place measures needed to restoreyoung people's sense of hope and engagement."

The Met has also deployed knife arches across 10 areas most affected by theproblem and stepped up their use of stop and search in an effort to detectknives and deter young people from carrying them.

Mark Prince, a youth worker and former boxer whose son Kiyan, a buddingfootballer with Queens Park Rangers, died after he was knifed yards from schoolgates in 2006, was at the talks along with Tracey Smartt-Ford, whose son Jameswas shot dead last year at Streatham ice rink.

They were among representatives from the groups Losing Our Sons Tragically,Through Unity and Mothers Against Murder and Aggression. …

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