It was only 4 days ago I was at the scene of a shooting involving a 13 year old boy in Hockley, here in Birmingham. He was shot in the back during a drive by style attack near the “flyover.” He may never walk again his family informed me.
The same week we seen the conviction of several teenagers for the murder of Keon Lincoln in Handsworth last year. The youngest was 14, he was the gunman, he shot Keon at point blank range in the stomach after chasing him down and stabbing him.
Keon died in the street outside his home surrounded by his family. Why are such young children demonstrating such disregard for life?
This is one of many questions being asked in the aftermath, but have lessons been learned? This pattern of youth violence has sadly been replicated in Liverpool as news broke of a 12 year old girl being stabbed to death in the City centre. People desperately tried to save a young girl who died following a city centre attack.
Officers were called at 8.39pm to Church Street in the city centre on Thursday, November 26 following reports of an assault. Police believe Ava and her friends were involved in a verbal argument, before the 12-year-old was assaulted in an attack which caused “catastrophic injuries.”
When officers arrived they discovered Ava collapsed on the ground, and a member of the public who witnessed the incident was giving first aid and desperately tried to save her. It is understood that multiple people stepped in to try and save the young girl. Paramedics attended the scene and Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where sadly she died a short time later despite the best efforts of medical staff.
A Home Office post mortem will be carried out to establish the cause of death.
Police confirmed four boys one aged 13, two aged 14 years and one aged 15 years, all from Toxteth have been arrested on suspicion of murder. Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy, said: “Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ava’s family, who are being supported specialist Family Liaison officers. “Their world has been torn apart and no parent should ever have to face that knock on the door from police officers to say that their child has died. “We believe that Ava and her friends had been involved in a verbal argument which culminated in Ava being assaulted causing catastrophic injuries. “And we understand that the offenders were then seen to run up School Lane across Hanover Street and on to Fleet Street. “We have arrested four males aged, one aged 13 years, two aged 14 years and one aged 15 from Toxteth, on suspicion of murder and they are currently being interviewed at police stations on Merseyside.
“Liverpool City Centre was very busy at the time of the incident as the lights on the Christmas tree on Church Street had been officially switched on a short while earlier and we would appeal to anyone who was on Church Street who saw the incident, or may even have captured it on their mobile phone, to come forward. Ava’s death should be a reminder to us all about the part that we each have to play in eliminating violence against women and girls. “Ava died on White Ribbon Day which is a global campaign to end violence against women, and yesterday partners from around the city joined together to mark the day, which is also the start of 16 days of activity designed to raise awareness of VAWG and show how we are working together to make sure that VAWG is something that should not be tolerated in any society.” He added: “An extensive cordon remains in place at the scene (which includes Williamson Square, Tarleton Street, Church Street, Church Alley, School Lane crossing over Hanover Street on to Fleet Street) whilst forensic experts continue their examinations. “We will endeavour to release the scene as soon as is practically possible, but we would ask members of the public for their understanding and patience whilst our investigations are being carried out so that we can bring justice for Ava and her family.”
Following the tragedy Alan Walsh, a prominent knife crime campaigner, youth worker and boxing gym owner, said he began fielding calls shortly after midnight from young people who were at the scene.
Mr Walsh is urging anyone who witnessed the incident to contact his organisation so they can be put in touch with counsellors or a psychologist.
He said online
“They were just walking past, some of them were just 13, and they are just traumatised.
“I have taken about 12 calls since last night.
“I am just numb. I feel terrible for her family, but also it’s the underlying trauma going on behind it as well.
“You just can’t comprehend it.”
Mr Walsh, posting on the knife crime campaign Twitter account Real Men Don’t Carry Knives, shared anonymised screengrabs from a young person asking to talk.
Mr Walsh captioned the post with the statement: “The ripple effect of this will be felt for a life time. “I took my first text message at 12.09am this morning asking for help.
A school has paid tribute to “unique” and “much-loved” Year 8 pupil Ava White after she was fatally attacked in Liverpool City Centre last night.
Today, Peter Duffy, Head Teacher of Notre Dame Catholic College on Great Homer Street, Everton, where Ava attended has paid tribute on behalf of the school.
Fingertip searches for evidence are being carried out across the city centre.
Officers were seen walking in a row in full uniform while carrying out the searches.
Vice new reported
Dame Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner for England, wrote: “This kind of violence involving a child and with such tragic consequences is shocking at any time, but when the victim is 12 it’s particularly so.”
Ava’s death is the latest in a wave of teenage street homicides in the UK. World News
Snapchat Is Fuelling Britain’s Teen Murder Epidemic
“In London, 28 teenagers have been killed so far this year, with the death toll nearing the record number of 29 teenagers killed in 2008. Homicides involving victims aged 16-24 in England and Wales have risen by more than 60% in the last five years, more than any other age group.”
“Like with Rhys Jones and Jamie Bulger, this tragedy has got be a game changer for Liverpool,” said Paul Walmsley, a youth intervention consultant who works with children at risk of joining gangs in Liverpool. “The city will react. You will see this at the Liverpool match tomorrow. Something has to change to stop this, because teenagers stabbing each other in the city centre is happening all the time, the videos are all over social media. They go there in groups of 20 or 30, end up seeing someone they don’t like and there’s an argument and someone always has a knife.”
This is a breaking story so we must be careful to not influence outcome of any trials.
The coverage from all recent cases is available on my youtube channel now.