‘It doesn’t matter who the next PM is... they won’t help us’: No faith in government over knife crime

“It doesn’t really matter. It just will trickle down anyway, the young people are the last people who would benefit.”

“It doesn’t matter” if Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss replaces Boris Johnson, according to youths from a north London estate, as young people will be the last to be helped.

Teenagers on the Hale Village estate, in Tottenham, told how “traumatic” stabbings in their community had seen them “lose faith in the government”.

While one youth worker said people in the area sometimes “live in fear” due to the threat of violence and knife crime.

Activists and police outlined efforts to tackle crime, during a visit from London mayor Sadiq Khan and Tottenham MP David Lammy to the Engine Room youth centre.

Young people on a north London estate “live in fear” at times due to the risk of knife crime. Photo: Getty

Tony, who did not give his last name, a business studies student, told LondonWorld: “I’ve had a friend who was stabbed.

“It’s difficult when you witness something like that.

“It’s very raw, it’s very traumatic.”

Mayor Sadiq Khan, centre, with Tottenham MP David Lammy, right, and youth worker Obi Onyido, left. Photo: LondonWorld

“You see what it does to the family and how it affects them.

“It makes you lose faith in the government.”

But the 18-year-old added: “I don't really think it’s the government's fault - they can’t really help every individual on this planet.

Young people gathered at the Engine Room community centre for the event with City Hall and the Met Police. Photo: LondonWorld

“But I'd like to see a bit more help and more youth workers.”

When asked, Tony and 20-year-old John, who is studying sports science at university, both said they didn’t know who was in the running to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

“It doesn’t really matter,” John said. “It just will trickle down anyway, the young people are the last people who would benefit.”

Local police officer PC Eyahia Ahmed talked to the group about knife crime. Photo: LondonWorld

While youth worker Obi Onyido said: “For young people, you have incidents here where people have come onto the estate to chase them.

“A lot of the time, young people would say in general the area is safe but in reality there are times where they live in fear.

“There are instances that might be out of our control - how do we become a space where they feel safe and they feel supported?”

Supt Rhona Hunt from Haringey also attended the event. Photo: LondonWorld

The centre, which operates as a church, community centre, café and nursery, receives funding from City Hall’s violence reduction unit via the MyEnds project and the Bridge Renewal Trust, which support youth work and community engagement across the capital.

Speaking at the event yesterday (Wednesday, August 10), Mr Khan said: “The only way to achieve the further reductions in violence and growth in community confidence we all want to see is through deliberate, well-coordinated and well-funded partnership work.

“From City Hall we are supporting our dedicated neighbourhood police officers and investing record amounts in initiatives to support young Londoners at critical stages in their lives.

“But more must be done.

“There is no escaping the reality that the spiralling cost of living is exacerbating poverty, deprivation and the lack of positive opportunities for young Londoners, which we know can be both causes and drivers of violent crime.

“As with poverty, violence is not inevitable and that’s why it’s more important than ever that we all work closely together to help keep our communities safe.”