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What is our community saying?

Bringing you result of our daily polls and clips from our on air discussions

Before the show we conducted some polls on social media to get the views of our followers on some of the issues. Here are the results:

I’m worried about how knife violence could affect my children

PG

60% - Yes, absolutely

40% - Sometimes

PCR

80% - Yes, absolutely

20% - Sometimes

 

The church is doing all they can to help knife violence

PG

40% - Most aren’t doing enough

60% - No, I disagree with that

PCR

9% - Yes, I agree

55% - Some churches are...

18% - Most aren’t doing enough

18% - No, I disagree

Knife violence has nothing to do with me and my family

PG

33% I agree

67% I disagree

PCR

18% - I agree

82% - I disagree

Knife violence is solely a male and urban problem

PG

57% - Nope, false

43% - Hmmm…it’s complicated 

PCR

25% - Yep, very true

56% - Nope, false

19% - Hmm...it's complicated

Who should be the ones to deal with knife crime?

PG

18% - Police

1% - Church

3% - Local community

78% - All the of the above

I’m fearful of the direction our young people are heading in

PG

73% - Yes, of course

19% - Hmm…somewhat fearful

8% - No, not really

Would you feel save approaching a group of teenage boys in the street?

PG

35% - Yes

50% - No

15% - If I was with someone

PCR

35% - Yes

50% - No

15% - If I was with someone

What the experts said

Dan Watson - Youth pastor of Hillsong

Leon Spence - Works with 11 to 24 year olds affected by violence

Naomi Allen - Director of XLP

Cherie Johnson - Behaviour and family therapist

Sandra - Caller

What you said

It's not someone else's fault. What about personal responsibility? Glasgow appointed a tough police chief. A task force is needed. People are dying now.

Ian

Good evening. Continuous renewal of hearts and minds. Encourage and support entrepreneurship. Voluntary work overseas. Men's prayer meetings. Men's breakfasts. Camping. An audit of churches to support men's ministries. God bless.

Anonymous

I am responding to the issue re: knife/crime challenges. I believe that investing in better parenting will prevent a lot of these issues. What foundations are the parents laying down for their children? How well do parents relate to their children? How much self-esteem and self-worth are the parents demonstrating to their children? Charity begins at home. Thank you for airing my views, your amazing contribution and awareness of this serious issue. Blessings.

Sister B

Alas but for many years I heard Pope John Paul II talking about the death culture we keep getting in. Today video games, films and artists filled with violence, excessive sex and drugs. No wonder we are in this worldly mess! To top it off, cultural differences bring sadly in some cases, a kind of rivalry which fuels that violence. But thank God for Jesus who will always offers forgiveness, hope and redemption. Praise His Holy Name! Thanks to Him and to Premier.

Gabriel, White City.

Churches should set up holiday camps like camp america. They should provide scholarship/volunteer services to give them a sense of purpose. Churches should offer counselling. They should go and see what prison life is like. 
A national help line should be set up.

Shirley, Essex 

Some factors that I feel contribute to violence are family relationships issues eg a) some children may have difficult relationships and family breakdown, and b) some children seem to raise themselves or are treated as adults and allowed to get away with wrong attitude/behaviour. The latest report in the news that government is to evict families whose children are caught up in gang violence seems to heap more adversity on an already dire situation. Also having experience of education system, I found that Afro-Caribbean boys especially seem to be treated more harshly than other children which seems institutionalised. Treating children like problems is detrimental, the reaction from some may push them to rebel. One Afro-Caribbean child in primary school said they wanted more people like them in school. However, even with a presence staff can also be institutional marginalised. As one caller says children seem to see no other way to protect themselves when violence happens to them. The caller with mentoring is excellent idea and would be grateful if you can read out the details of her scheme again.

Rose

I personally think it mainly comes down to social media and music. This issue has become a lot worse as these factors have grown in influence. These young kids look up to these ‘celebrities’ – their lifestyles, their clothes, their trainers, their money, their cars – bearing in mind most of them are from low income homes. This lifestyle is glorified as the thing you have to have in order to have ‘made it in life’ or in order to live a good, successful life etc. Young people seek to have this lifestyle in whatever way that they can. Usually the easiest option is selling drugs as it’s ‘easy’ money that you can get quickly. Let’s be real, young black men in particular do not have the same opportunities in the ‘career’ world. Young people feel what’s the point of living a legit lifestyle, when it won’t get you these things they desire in life.

I agree that there are many factors that contribute to this situation such as lack of fathers, single parents being at work a lot of the time, lack of community, boredom, police cuts, wanting to belong to a group, fear etc, but I think it mainly comes down to this lifestyle which is glorified as the thing to have and having made it in life.

As a Christian, I definitely think the church needs to do more. As a younger child, I was lucky enough to have a youth club at my church which I attended every week. This helped to keep me busy, socialise with other younger kids, have younger but older mentors I could relate to etc. Young people who lived in the local community were encouraged to attend, it wasn’t just for ‘church kids’. There isn’t anything for young people to do nowadays. When you’re bored, you tend to seek companionship/interest in things you shouldn’t be doing, plus in music, in social media.

It’s definitely important to continue to pray about the situation collectively as churches, but a lot of these young people do not identify with Christianity or care about it – I’m sure you’ll find many of these gang members are from Christian homes.

It’s time we bring back community youth clubs, youth clubs in churches, more church community events that are available for all young people to attend. Just creating places where young people can have positive role models/mentors they can look up to and talk to and learn new skills.

More community church led events such as music concerts which focus predominantly on hip hop, rap Christian music. The younger you catch them by things they can relate to, the easier it is to have a positive influence in their life.

Pamela

Thank you for raising such a pertinent subject on knife violence in the UK.

Eastenders, the soap, recently aired an emotional related storyline, showing the fall out of such crimes, and it gave great insight into the problem for those who have experience or have no experience in this area.

I have listened in on other callers to your show and agree with what all are saying. I believe that there are so many reasons as to why there is an increase in violence; fundamentally stemming from fear, and a longing for belonging.

My hypothesis is family and community breakdown in this country. Those communities who look out for each other and reprimand those in their community who do wrong would not entertain involvement in such crimes.

One church I visited had an idea of the men in their church becoming mentors to young males under the age of 18 within their church who lived in single families (without a male role model) - this involved meeting up with the young person for coffee and a chat, inviting them with their family to football matches. An obstacle might be that these men would need to be police checked and they should not work with young females under the age of 18.

In terms of fathers who abandon their children and leave a struggling mother or other parent behind - there should be government policy to chase these men to finance their family. I think there should be a policy too that these fathers need to spend a certain number of hours with their children each month (if safe to do so) and do something constructive with their children. It is too easy for men to produce a child and then to walk out and so if made harder they may think differently.

I work in mental health too and there is so much pressure on young people in schools from academic Years 6 and 7. Schools do have performance schedules to meet but this is taking over being humane to the children they have to look after and shape for later life. My practical solution hear is for a mental health worker  to be placed in all schools across the country to be available to speak to children in need, to educate them about mental health and reduce the stigma of mental health and to teach the children constructive practical coping skills!

Just a couple of ideas.

Charmaine, Herfordshire

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