Knife crime crisis: Idris Elba pleads for end to ‘stupid’ violence in passionate video


Idris Elba has made an impassioned plea to perpetrators of knife crime to rethink their actions and stop making their communities “look stupid”.

As London and the rest of the country grapples with a rapid rise in violent crime, the actor, who grew up in Hackney, has taken to Instagram to urge those who carry weapons to reconsider.

The 46-year-old also posted a number of statistics relating to knife crime in the capital, and told his millions of followers anyone tempted to stab another person should instead turn the blade on themselves.

He said: “Knife crime is not new. I grew up in the 80s and there was knife crime back then, between blacks and white, and now it’s definitely between young black men in small, tiny communities.

“And it’s affecting everyone, we all look stupid. You look even more stupid, if you’ve got a knife, or you know someone that’s got a knife, tell them to stab themselves right now, trust me.

“Because you’re just going to stab your future if you go and stab someone else. You become a murderer, you go to prison, you ain’t got s***. For what? For some beef that lives within your community.

“You need to see past that.”

Elba posted a number of statistics relating to knife crime in London alongside the video, and also called on other famous faces to speak out on the issue and “send a message out saying put the knives down”.

He said: “Entertainers, do me a favour man, put out similar videos, let’s try and put out something and say that we care for our communities. Stop the knife crime, please.”

The clip was posted amid heightened concern over the ongoing nationwide crisis, which has resulted in the deaths of 39 people so far this year.

Chief constables across the country have been making the case for why their officers are being hamstrung by a lack of funding from government, although Chancellor Philip Hammond has been lukewarm to their appeals.

Earlier on Friday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan hit out at suggestions by Mr Hammond that police forces should not expect to be granted extra money and should instead shift priorities.

Speaking during a housing visit in north London, Mr Khan said the capital had suffered from losing more than £800m of funding from central government in the past eight years, with further cuts of £200m to come.

“Re-prioritising, increasing council tax, diverting business rates money away doesn’t fill the massive hole left by central government cuts,” said the London mayor.

“We’ve got fewer officers now in 2019 than in any time since 2003, when our population has grown by more than a million-and-a-half.

“But also we’ve seen youth services, preventative services, councils, schools have their budgets cut as well, so we need investment in preventative services but also policing too.”

His latest intervention came on the day that the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) gave the home secretary their assessment of how much extra money they need to launch an emergency surge against knife crime.

Sajid Javid gave chief constables until Friday to get back to him with a calculation of the funding required to deploy additional officers into knife crime hot spots to combat the rise in violence.

The NPCC confirmed that it had handed over information to Mr Javid, but did not confirm a figure and said more work would be done over the weekend before a final submission on Monday.

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts, of Greater Manchester Police, told Sky News earlier this week he thought the money required would run into the millions.

“It is a potentially big bill and I don’t know how much available money there is,” he said.

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andy Cooke and Cheshire Police Commissioner David Keane have also spoken out, warning that cuts to police numbers – and all other public services – was having an adverse impact.

The number of police officers across the 43 forces in England and Wales has fallen by more than 20,000 since 2009, but the prime minister has said there is no correlation between the decline and “certain crimes”.

Mr Cooke has also for tougher sentences to be handed out to those who carry weapons, telling the Daily Express that judges need to be sentencing “at the higher end” whenever possible.

(c) Sky News 2019: Knife crime crisis: Idris Elba pleads for end to ‘stupid’ violence in passionate video

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