Youth ambassador blames low self-esteem for killings
PUBLISHED: 11:57 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 12 August 2010
EXPERTS and community figures have tried to explain the street-rage that culminated in the murders of 28 London youths last year. Harry Potter actor Robert Knox, 18, a former Bromley drama student, was the 14th teenager killed in London last May after he
EXPERTS and community figures have tried to explain the street-rage that culminated in the murders of 28 London youths last year.
Harry Potter actor Robert Knox, 18, a former Bromley drama student, was the 14th teenager killed in London last May after he was stabbed to death in Sidcup by Karl Bishop.
Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Bishop, who was jailed the day after his 22nd birthday, had been 'humiliated' by fights with Knox and his friends, and had sought revenge with two knives.
Speaking to the Times James Cleverly, London Youth Ambassador and London Assembly member for Bromley and Bexley, said young people's low self-esteem was causing violence.
He said: "Rather than being able to laugh something off or shrug their shoulders, with a number of youths there is an illogical desire to prove themselves.
"The smallest slight can grow into something totally out of proportion, as we saw with Karl Bishop. There was just no logic."
The LA member noted a loss of normal relations between generations due to a mutual suspicion encouraged by fear of paedophilia and the important, yet zealous protection of children.
Mr Cleverly's comments followed those of Barry Mizen, the father of altar boy Jimmy Mizen, who was killed in a Lee bakery two weeks before Robert Knox.
Jake Fahri, 19, from Lee, was sentenced to life imprisonment last Friday for murder after he threw a glass dish at the St Thomas More pupil, severing an artery.
Mr Mizen said that the nation's traditionally tolerant society of 'fair play' was descending into selfishness and fear.
He told the Times: "The Jake Fahris and Karl Bishops of this world are very much a minority.
"But they feel like they have a right to let rip. Some people seem to think they can express themselves with their tempers, like it's a quality.
"The violence that has been gradually cranking up over the last few years has started boiling over."