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The Voice newspaper readers have their say

TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: Knife crime

EACH WEEK, we will reflect on some of the most topical stories and the comments that came from them.

This week, knife crime continues to be a key topic of discussion among our readers, plus Amber Rudd's 'coloured' comment, the downfall of R. Kelly and why you should always pay attention to the road.

SPIKE IN KNIFE CRIME

The issue of knife crime is on the rise when it should have come down. Knife killings have now become the norm instead of the exception. This situation is unacceptable and a blot on the government for failing to combat it robustly.

At present, the government and the police are dealing with the symptoms and not the underlying reasons and root causes. Symptoms and causes should be tackled simultaneously to bring down knife crime and violence. Youth involved in these crimes come from school exclusions, broken homes, poverty, lack of parental control, lack of opportunities, discrimination, racism, mental health problems and inequality.

Interest rates on student loans have soared. And for the poorest young black people, the impact of these cuts has been devastating. On top of that, youth clubs have been closed down, facilities for sports like boxing, football, cricket, athletics, arts, music are lacking for these young men. This leads them to fall prey to gangs involved in drug dealing and gang warfare.

Furthermore, police officers have been decreased by 22,000 instead of increasing them because of the lopsided policies of cutting funds for the youth by the government. When young boys see a bleak future in front of them, they are lured into crime as the only way out for them because nothing else is available.

Police chiefs have called for the public's help in stopping knife crime after a spate of fatal stabbings across the UK. West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the issue has become a "national emergency" after three teenagers were killed in Birmingham earlier this week. A knife crime charity has said recent deaths in London are "just the tip of the iceberg", and added that "all sectors of society" have to take responsibility to stop the violence.

There have been around 20 murders in London so far this year, with six of them happening in nine days. Met Police Commander Dave Musker said: "Every death or injury is a tragedy and will have a lasting impact on those who knew and were close to the victims. West Midlands Police Chief Constable David Thompson said the rate of knife crime was increasing across all major cities.

It is time for solutions that genuinely address and try to solve the underlying reasons why knife crime is increasing and urgent steps taken to address this important issue facing the nation. No more posturing but it is time to take proper actions with proper resources.

Baldev Sharma via Letters

CALLING OUT THOSE OFFENDED BY DAVE'S SONG 'BLACK'

People offended by a song celebrating and highlighting blackness need to take a look in the mirror. Why does that make some people uncomfortable? If people feel the need to call up a radio station and state that you find the song disrespectful, it says a lot about the individual and their stance and views on race and racism.

Brits can be so passive about race and its ridiculous. They need to get over their fear of black people or just admit that they are racist and be done with it. I salute Dave for such a brilliant, honest and thoughtful song in a sea of music with catchy beats but with nothing of substance to say. I look forward to hearing more from this young man.

Samuel Fletcher via Facebook

AMBER RUDD AND HER 'OUTDATED' TERMINOLOGY

I've been called a lot worse than ‘coloured’ to be honest. It's not so much offensive, as it is outdated. Who uses that terminology in 2019? Says a lot about her beliefs and is concerning to thing she was home secretary at one point. But I won’t pretend to be outraged or shocked by her use of discriminatory language.

Andrea Roberts via Facebook

PEDESTRIANS: PAY ATTENTION

People should just pay attention to what's going on around you when you cross the road and don't rely on motorists to see you or automated cars. That way you will not be run over!

Phil Abrahams via Facebook

R. KELLY IS CANCELLED

Now he starts speaking. He is a joke. I was a fan long ago but I’ve now deleted all his music after learning of some of the disgusting and predatory things he’s allegedly done to young girls over the years.. My heart goes out to the victims who had courage to speak out.

Lorna Montaque via Facebook

STUDENT SUPPORT AFTER BEST FRIEND'S DAD PAYS HIS TUITION FEES

What an awesome gesture! But what shocks me is this university’s decision to not allow him to graduate if he’s unable to pay his debt. How many of our kids will get discarded by the system because they cannot afford to find a better way? Why not allow him to graduate, get a job and then pay off the debt? Thank God he had a guardian angel on his side.

Tropic Electric via Instagram

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