Teenagers are dying from our failure to confront London violence

We have abandoned boys to a surreal and terrifying landscape where gang life offers protection

A former gangster was returning home after dropping off his daughter at a play date. Suddenly he stiffened. Ahead, three boys in tracksuits and gloves — “Gloves mean a gun,” he explained — bounced up and down outside a fried chicken takeaway. One even wore a balaclava.

Up close, it was a different story. From their voices and expressions, he recalled, “I could tell they were good kids, not prepared for crime.” Their clothes were merely camouflage to keep them safe from gang attacks: “Out here everyone’s scared to be honest.”

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The Financial Times
Published 7 April 2018

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