At another time it might be considered a bad joke – teenagers being sent by their parents from Britain to Somalia to protect them from crime! But it’s true.
Members of north London’s Somali community say hundreds of children have been flown to Somalia, Somaliland and Kenya because of an upsurge of stabbings in Britain, especially in the capital.
The Observer newspaper said a Somali mother flew last week to Mombasa to stop her 19-year-old son from returning to the UK after gangs had asked him to come back. “I am very scared what the gangs will do if he came home,” the mother said.
A 15-year-old was sent to Somalia after his friend was stabbed in Islington, London, and he was told, “You next!”
There is concern over drug gangs and criminal networks that use young people to transport narcotics from the cities to the rural areas. Experts are also staggered by the steep rise in the use of knives as weapons, especially involving teenagers as both killers and victims.
Official figures show that homicides across the UK rose from 649 in 2017 to 739 in 2018, an increase of 14 per cent. Knife crime has soared. In London alone, there were 28 stabbings, 17 of them fatal, between January 1 and March 10 this year.
Among the latest victims was Jodie Chesney, a pretty 17-year-old who was stabbed in the back while listening to music with friends at a children’s playground in Romford, east London. Manuel Petrovic, aged 20, and a boy of 16, who wept throughout the court proceedings, were remanded in custody charged with murder.
The 2019 London toll started at 4 am on New Year’s Day when Charlotte Huggins, aged 33, was stabbed to death. A man has been charged with her murder. In another incident, friends reported that a teenager was stabbed because he “looked” at his attacker.
A heated debate is taking place about the violence and the Home Secretary, Mr Sajid Javid, said, “Young people are being murdered across the country. It can’t go on. It is vital that we unite to stop this senseless violence.”
There have been numerous calls for an increase in police numbers, which were cut drastically during the government’s austerity programme. Lord Hogan Howe, a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said one person should be appointed to handle the violence problem and that person should be in charge of how money is spent, especially on boosting police numbers.
The Asda supermarket announced that it will stop selling single kitchen knives, but sociologists say action is needed on a nationwide scale to tackle what West Midlands Police Commissioner David Jamieson branded a “national emergency”.
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Could there possibly be a stranger cause of death?
According to one theory, when medical helicopters landed on the roof of Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, their rotor blades whipped up fragments of pigeon droppings; this faecal matter entered the hospital’s ventilation system and was inhaled by a boy and a woman aged 73, who were being treated for compromised immune systems. Both died from an infection known as cryptococcus, connected with pigeon droppings.
A spokesman said, “There are a number of hypotheses. We have contacted other health boards to discuss the matter.”
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What is Britain’s major obsession? According to a poll of 2,000 people for British Science Week, it is discussing the weather. (And by discussing, I think they meant cursing it).
Next of our typical traits, in order, are drinking tea, queuing up and apologising unnecessarily.
Apologising unnecessarily? Yes, it’s true. In this country, if someone stands on your foot, you tend to apologise.
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Did I mention that I suffer from periodic visitations of horrible, painful gout? Dr Mansour usually solves the problem but his pills take time to work and when I spotted an alternative cure the other day I read it eagerly.
It said, “Take an owl and cut it clean; and open it, clean and salt it; and put it in a new pot and cover it with a stone till it be burnt; and then stamp it with boar’s grease and anoint the gout therewith.”
Oh dear. I might manage the owl but I don’t think too many boars are left in our countryside. So from 15th century recipes back to Dr M and his pills.
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Asked why he was found unconscious outside a bar, the tourist said there had been three very large ladies talking in what he thought was a Scottish accent. “Hello,” he said, “are you three lassies from Scotland?” One of them answered angrily, “It’s Wales, you idiot, Wales.” So he apologised and said, “So sorry, are you three whales from Scotland?” And that’s the last thing he remembered.