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Monday, 4 April 2016

Knife and gun crime as consequences of deprivation

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

I seem to have heard a lot lately about youth knife and gun crime in London. (E.g., New Cross murder probe after teen stabbed to death.1)

Against that backdrop, I believe it relevent that I share these paragraphs from an August 2009 blog piece by Jennifer Harvey in Community Care magazine:


Paid holidays have been a basic right of the employed for many years.It’s widely accepted that people perform better for them. But the people least likely to take a holiday are among the most vulnerable.They are also the people who may already have health problems which will only be made worse by not having a holiday – or a night on the town, a day out, or a walk in the country. These are all deemed to be not as worthy of funding as a supported supermarket shop or employment project. It seems the old protestant work ethic still exists and extends to people with learning difficulties, mental health problems and autism and anyone who needs support.

Although the vulnerable may receive funding for a roof over their heads and food on their table, going on holiday is too often seen as an unnecessary luxury. Wrong. We all need bread and roses, green space and clean air.

Concrete and the built environment contribute to problems with mental and physical health, and can lead to aggressive behaviour. I wonder how many of the young people in our cities who are caught up in knife and gun crime enjoy an annual holiday.

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-35956857
2. http://www.communitycare.co.uk/blogs/social-care-experts-blog/2009/08/a-holiday-in-the-rain-lucky-yo/

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