knife crime, London

(5 Posts)
ProPants Mon 09-May-16 18:02:53

I live in a a bit of a down at heal part of south london, South Norwood. I love it. We live on a very friendly, community minded street and I am excited about raising kids here, i think it'll be great for them. The teens around here, the vast majority, seem good, switched on, happy kids. We are happy with choices of school, at both levels.

But recently, after a few nasty knife crime incidents in the surrounding area, I feel pulled away to the country, or to the coast.

My question is - are there any londoners here raising kids in not great areas, especially at teen age? How do you cope with the worry of them crossing a kid with a knife?

I grew up in the main in London and I didn't even really think about gangs and knives, just didn't really cross my mind, although in many ways it was worse back then, far more gun crime. What do you tell your kids? What advice?

I don't want hear from "escape to the country" types about how my fears are justified and how wonderful it is in rural land.

or Londoners who send their kids private and live in massively rich areas.

Just ordinary Londoners, in less leafy areas, but who still raise teenagers and use state schools.

Tell me about knife crime...cheers.

I don't wanna give up on London.

beginnersewer Mon 09-May-16 20:04:59

I grew up in London too, in a very mixed area. I now live in a small rural town so have seen both sides of it.
Youngsters here get into trouble with drink or drugs because they're bored, they have accidents driving to school/college along narrow country roads (they drive themselves asap because public transport is rubbish and expensive to non-existent).
In the few years I've lived here there have been unfortunately several teenagers lost to drink/drugs and car accidents.
So if you came and looked round our town you would think it was a wonderful peaceful idyll but it isn't always what it seems. It's not all bad obviously but unless you have other reasons for moving I don't think it's automatically better for children to grow up 'in the countryside'.
I had a great time as a teenager in London doing all sorts of activities which wouldn't be easily accessible where I live now.
So I wouldn't move if you are generally happy where you are.

squizita Tue 10-May-16 11:55:45

I grew up in such and area and happily live up the road now.

There's actually a fair bit of drug abuse, knives etc in rural areas but it's reported differently in the media. I worked in such an area (with teens) and spent summers as a teen in an area like that - and would say London kids are not in any additional danger unless they get into gangs (which usually has a lot to do with lack of home support).

Essentially it's communication: they should never carry a knife (for themselves or anyone else), walk confidently. Wear a wristwatch and don't wave their phone about (the watch stops 'got the time' muggings - they want the person to reach into their bag for their phone to snatch it). Travel on the lower deck of the bus.
Do not engage with fights at all, ever. Don't even watch if you see one. Walk calmly away if one seems to be brewing. NEVER NEVER do the 'if someone hits you hit them back' thing FFS the naivity of parents who think they're being worldly by saying this astounds me, they're fucking idiots.
Frank and calm communication, not scare mongering.

All areas have their risks. 24hr rolling news has a lot to answer for frankly.

squizita Tue 10-May-16 11:57:38

...by 'such an area' I mean urban London.

I find it a bit insulting that it's demonised often by people who were happy to be hipsters in their 20s and call themselves Londoners till kids arrive and their true feelings are exposed...

starpatch Tue 10-May-16 20:16:00

I'm a bit worried by this too. I have a four year old mainly thinking of when he is old enough to walk to school by himself. Knife crime is not infrequent around here how will he feel for example if there is a police tape between him and home or school? I do like London and I'm not really in a position to move anyway.

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