Met Police commander warns Bromley students of the realities of carrying a knife
PUBLISHED: 17:38 11 February 2019
A Met Police commander visited a Bromley college with a warning for students that knife crime is a harsh reality these days with children aged just eight involved.
Commander Dr David Musker was at London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus.
He was there to deliver a number of important messages to students regarding knife crime and gang culture.
More than 100 students were there to hear his concerns about a disturbing rise in violent crime and its causes.
Dr Musker, who has been in the Met for 29 years, told students: “Recently, over the past year, there has been a sharp rise in the number of young people, particularly boys and men, who have fallen foul of knife and gun crime. My commitment to ending what has almost become a culture amongst young men, is what drives me.”
He said: “It may look attractive, cool, and exciting at first.
“Boys and even some girls as young as just eight or nine are being groomed into carrying out fairly routine tasks such as delivering packages for gangs, hiding firearms or other such illegal items.
“This eventually leads to being required to carry out much more sinister business for the gang’s leaders. The failure to do so can result in very unpleasant circumstances.
“In my 30 years on the force, I have had to knock on the door of many a parent to deliver the horrendous news of their child’s death, as well as attending many funerals. None of it makes any sense and it is something you can never get used to.”
He went on: “Inevitably, one thing leads to another. You are drawn in by a promise of money and material possessions, a more extravagant lifestyle, notoriety and power.
“You will drive nice cars, become respected and even feared by your peers. The truth, however, is somewhat different.
“I have seen some of the toughest and most egotistical young guys resort to breaking down and crying when they are handed very long sentences for their actions. That moment of realisation - ‘this was never part of the plan’ when a judge hands them a 15-year prison sentence.
“Fifteen years of their lives to be spent incarcerated. Believe me, Britain’s jails are full of these people - people with massive regrets and remorse. Suddenly they aren’t so tough.”
Sports science student Craig Williams, 17, said after the lecture: “I’ve learnt more than I ever thought I would.
“Dr Musker has a voice and a presence that certainly means business. Some of the things he told us were very sobering but necessary. I now have more of an understanding and a deeper comprehension about the work of the police and some of the things they are up against in their fight against crime.”
Hoping to sign up for the police, public services student, Mirwis Halimi, 24, added: “I am very impressed by this man and I have huge respect for him and the people who devote their lives, often putting themselves at great risk, to protect the public. It is quite often a thankless task and there is no room for mistakes. The professionalism and commitment Police officers are expected to show at all times is immense.”
And health and social care student, Kayleigh Leonard, 17, who wants to work with children in care when she graduates from her course, said: “Statistically, children in care are more likely to be in care because of domestic abuse and are far more likely to become embroiled in a life of crime than any other group. Dr Musker actually mentioned this as part of his lecture.
“I think everybody who came along today received quite an eye-opening experience. The Commander gave us facts and made us all more alert to some of the harsh realities of life. I personally, now feel I am more awareness of the bigger picture.”