Michael Turner QC: "Youth violence can be reduced, if we face the difficult truths"

Friday 13 April 2018

Michael Turner QC of the Garden Court Chambers Criminal Defence Team writes for The Express on tackling the root causes of youth crime.

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THIS past month has seen a terrible upsurge in the violent deaths of young black boys on our streets. The present cry as to the cause of this is two-fold: social media and the sale of vicious knives on the internet.

Social media is merely a method of communication. You are never going to be able to shut down text or WhatsApp communication but, even if you could, are we suggesting banning the use of mobile phones among certain sectors of society? Of course this is nonsense.

I was called to the Bar in 1981 and have been one of Her Majesty’s Queen’s Counsels since 2002. I have defended in countless murder cases involving young black boys.

In a number of so-called postcode war cases, mobile communication did not feature at all. A spotter had been placed at various points within the area to alert a rival gang when a member of the opposition had wandered on to their patch.

In all the cases I have done involving knife violence I have only once come across a knife brought off the internet (a so-called Zombie knife) being used as the fatal weapon.

After 37 years as a barrister I will be forgiven, I hope, for saying that I am in a pretty good place to judge where the real problems lie.

Read on here: Youth violence can be reduced, if we face the difficult truths.


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