Knives hurt victim’s family – AND the offender’s, warns grieving dad
Youth violence in Camden rises by eight percent
02 January, 2018 — By William McLennan
‘We need to learn from the past’: Aydarus Ahmed, right, with council leader Georgia Gould and Abdikadir Ahmed, of Somali Youth Development Resource Centre, at the launch of the youth safety taskforce
A MAN whose son and nephew were stabbed to death on the streets of Camden four years apart has said that children must be warned of the heartbreaking consequences of knife crime to stop history repeating itself.
Aydarus Ahmed told a meeting of politicians, police officers and youth workers on Friday that more should be done to educate youngsters that “taking knives to harm someone is going to hurt both sides, the victim’s family and the offender’s family”. He added: “This is what we need to teach and learn from what happened in the past.” He was speaking at Camden Council’s HQ in King’s Cross at the launch of a new youth safety taskforce, set up to try to end the rise in youth violence and knife crime.
Mr Ahmed’s son, Mohamed Abdullahi, was killed in York Way in 2013, aged just 20. In September this year, his nephew, 20-year-old Mohamed Aadam, was killed in Camden Town. A 17-year-old boy, charged with his murder, pleaded not guilty at the Old Bailey earlier this month.
Mr Ahmed said: “It was just last Friday when we attended the court for the plea hearing. It’s such sad memories again to be in that court. “You can’t imagine what we are going through to be honest, as a family. As a father I do have a responsibility to support the family as well, but once or twice, sometimes, I have become speechless. I don’t know what to say.”
Mohamed Abdullahi died in 2013
He told those present: “I really appreciate being here with you to at least discuss in the near future what we are going to do and how we are going to educate our young generation to stop this kind of violence that is unnecessarily costing someone’s life. I hope one day everybody will understand. It’s so easy to say when someone passes away, but deep down inside it is unimaginable how we feel as a family.”
Councillor Abdul Hai, who is co-chairing the taskforce alongside Holborn and St Pancras Labour MP Keir Starmer, said: “We have seen a rise in youth violence in Camden by 8 per cent. Across London it’s about 16 per cent. There have been too many incidents. What I want to do is make sure we work together to try to find a long-term solution to this emerging issue.”
Mr Starmer, who was head of the Crown Prosecution Service before entering Parliament in 2015, said that the purpose of the taskforce was to create “some meaningful interventions rather than wring our hands and just think that there’s nothing that can be done”. He added: “We are not solving the problems of the world. We are thinking about what Camden can do to intervene in the short- to medium-term to actually do something about this.”
The taskforce, which is expected to report its findings within nine months, will consider evidence given from young people and their parents who have been affected by crime, alongside others working to tackle youth violence, including psychologists and charity workers.