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Gangs are menacing London hospitals It's only a matter of time before someone is murdered on a ward

London hospitals are now among the best in the world at treating stab wounds. Credit: Stanzelullstein bild via Getty Images

London hospitals are now among the best in the world at treating stab wounds. Credit: Stanzelullstein bild via Getty Images


September 18, 2021   6 mins

Working in a London hospital, you get used to dealing with the after-effects of gang fights. But you don’t expect to see them. Of the many horrible things you might witness as a junior doctor in the capital, among the worst must be watching a teenage gang trying to break into the ward you work on, hoping to finish off a victim, punching your colleagues out the way to get to him.

Where I work, there’s a “code red” every day. That’s what we call the arrival of a stabbing victim. The patient is almost always a teenager. We should provide a safe refuge. But just a few weeks into working in a London hospital, I had witnessed two stabbings.

Just a few weeks ago, a boy came in with knife wounds and was taken to have a CT scan to assess the damage. But his attackers were not satisfied with wounding him — they wanted him dead. After turning up at the hospital, the whole gang rushed to the CT scanners. The nurse and radiographer tried to stand in their way — my colleagues tend to be extremely brave — but they were attacked and knocked to the ground. At this point, security arrived: the gang fled, successfully escaping.

If you’ve been to a hospital recently, you’ll know that you can pretty much walk in and around as you like. There are far, far too many to check. There are numerous restricted and locked areas, and we have permanent security guards posted on the highest risk areas for gang violence — but most entrances are completely open at all hours. You can’t get into other wards without buzzing and being let in, but anyone can get into A&E.

The injured boy came in on a Saturday morning, when the hospital was quite empty. Later that day, someone walking around on the first floor suddenly heard loud shouting and yelling. One of my friends was working in a ward adjacent to A&E, and saw a man run up and start banging on the door, closely followed by a group of young men.

The gang had returned, found a target, and were chasing him down the corridor, knives out. All the wards were locked, and the man was trying his best to get away, hammering on all the doors — but no one was opening up. None of the staff wanted men with knives running around their wards — and, frankly, probably didn’t want to be in harm’s way themselves. We’re not paid danger money. My friend felt guilty for not opening the door, but what was she supposed to do: put herself and all the patients in her ward at risk?

Usually when there is a gang-related incident, there are stabbings on both sides. Hospitals go to great lengths to ensure members of rival gangs are taken to separate trauma centres. But sometimes a mistake is made — or both victims are too unwell to reach another hospital — and they end up in the same place. Either way, if gangs are determined to take their feuds into hospitals, there is not much we can do.

Gangs come up with all sorts of ways to try and access victims who have survived. Sometimes, they pretend to be family members. The hospital has started to set code words that genuine relatives can use to identify themselves when they come and visit. But on one occasion, a hostile gang created fake ID badges. They managed to get hold of their target’s location and just called on the intercom. They were buzzed in, and at least a couple got onto the ward.

Occasionally, gang members who’ve been stabbed are personally guarded by the police during their admissions. I know of at least one who was discharged straight into witness protection.

There was blood all over the floors of the corridor when the gang left that Saturday. Their victim, the man who’d been banging on doors, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He was at — in terms of treatment quality — one of the best hospitals he could hope for. The Major Trauma team often includes ex-military doctors. There will be up to five different surgeons working to save one victim simultaneously. This, of course, places a great strain on the health service, but the upside is that London surgeons have become experts — the best in the world — at treating stab wounds. People survive horrendous attacks that would have proved fatal only a few years ago.

Some are not meant to kill, though; gangs sometimes go in for “bagging”, which is when they stab the victim in the rectum, so that they need a colostomy bag for the rest of their life. This is meant to be the most humiliating punishment.

At another hospital I worked at, a couple of stab victims came in almost at the same time, one a 16-year-old boy with a deep wound to the leg. How did this happen, I asked, and he said he was just messing around with a knife in his kitchen and had thrown it in the air, after which it had landed in his leg.

Naively, I was inclined to believe him — especially because his mum was there. But I then went to discuss the case with my consultant, who said: “You don’t believe him, surely? Ask the mum what kind of knife it was.” Neither could describe it, of course.

I did find it slightly ironic that the boy turned out to be terrified of needles, grabbing at my arm as I tried to inject some local anaesthetic with something less than half a millimetre in diameter. He then asked me: what would be the most dangerous place to be stabbed in the leg? Is there any spot which would kill someone? Somehow, I doubted his wound had awakened a yearning to undertake an anatomy degree, so I feigned ignorance and responded vaguely.

Later, his mum kicked up a massive fuss about her son not being seen straight away by doctors. He had a six-hour wait; it was a deep cut, but the risk of infection from kitchen knives is small. Of course, if it hadn’t been a kitchen knife, but rather a knife used in street fights, then there was a much higher risk of infection. In the boy’s defence, he was quite understanding when I told him I would have to report the incident to the police, and said he “could see how it looked.” Still, he rigidly stuck to his knife throwing story.

After a stabbing victim arrives, you often see the victims of the revenge attacks coming in the very same day. This boy had arrived at 10pm and later on that night another few boys with knife wounds were brought in; some were in a worse condition and were sent to a major trauma centre with life-threatening injuries. We assumed the incident was a response to the earlier violence.

What feels odd, to me, is that so many people — children — are being stabbed in London hospitals and yet almost no one outside the hospital seems aware of it. Unless someone happens to tip off a reporter, these incidents seem to get swallowed in the general mass of crime stories and injuries. Perhaps it will only get reported if — perhaps I should say when — someone is murdered in a hospital.

I suspect this is part of a general increase in knife crime, although it’s entirely possible it’s been like this for a while. After all, even if last year’s 132 London murders made it the worst for almost a decade, things were far worse in the 90s and early 00s. In 2003 there were 204 murders — and there were almost two million fewer Londoners then — although, with better treatment now available, some of those would have survived in 2021.

Perhaps wards have always been stormed by teenagers acting out rivalries in the most brutal possible ways. The grim determination with which our staff grin and bear it suggests they have become used to it. But even if that’s the case, the danger we face shouldn’t be secret — in the same way that the poor pay, hours, conditions and career prospects of junior doctors, relative to their peers, should also be public information.

The security guards we have are pretty impressive and fearless, but theirs is a massive job — do we really want to ask Joseph and his buddy Emmanuel to stand up, unarmed, just the two of them, against 12 teenagers with 12″ kitchen knives who have stabbed before and are here to do it again, all for £18,000 a year?

It would make me feel safer if there were a few more Emmanuels. But the very nature of hospitals makes it hard to have a strict policy on who comes in and out. We know the risks, and have constant security coverage on the major trauma ward.

When the victim is treated and cleaned up, we try to ensure they don’t turn up again. We liaise with charities that talk to youths who have been stabbed, and with charities that employ ex-gang members who try to them out of the lifestyle. These organisations offer training days for hospital staff: we learn how to speak to gang members, and which gangs work in which areas.

But after that, it’s a tick-box exercise. I have to refer the victims to social services, but mostly I wonder why I bother. The boys don’t want me to, and it takes so much of my time. Just filling in the forms takes an hour, and remember: stabbings happen every single day.

Obviously, we have to report them to the police. But they often seem to accept these incidents as a fact of life in London. So do the boys, their general attitude being: “Yeah, I got stabbed and I’m fine”. Their mothers are a different matter, and I suspect the last boy I treated got a big talking to when he got home. But will it make any difference? Probably not. Many victims will be back again — in either the hospital ward or the mortuary.

I’m not sure what else we can do, other than pass on these horror stories — because how can we fix a problem that most people don’t even realise exists?


Jane Smith is a pseudonym for a junior doctor in England.


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D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago

Perhaps the Diversity and Inclusion officers they are employing can have a word. That should stop them.

Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
2 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

The Diversity and Inclusion officers should have a stint at working in a hospital as part of their “training”.

RJ Kent
RJ Kent
2 years ago

Rest assured that front line cops spend a good proportion of their time in hospitals already, not least because they’re inevitably called out to the type of incidents mentioned in the (excellent) article!

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

If all gang members were forced to sit through Diversity and Inclusion training, coupled with a full two week course on Gender Identity I’m sure they would soon see the error of their ways. Perhaps include a week on GDPR just to make sure their punishment is sufficient.

Sean Penley
SP
Sean Penley
2 years ago
Reply to  Deborah B

It’s crazy enough it just might work. I can imagine going through that might be worse than getting stabbed to some people, so perhaps there is some real deterrent value.

Peter LR
Peter LR
2 years ago

Thank you for revealing this and for what sounds like a thankless task; although I do hope some gratitude is expressed to you and your colleagues.
I appreciate you have studiously avoided mentioning some common factors and left us to read between the lines. I don’t see how this problem can be solved if the finger of blame is merely pointed at convenient indirect reasons such as politicians and funding when it is a social contagion. If ideology hampers genuine analysis of causes rooted in upbringing then boys will continue to die because they never realised there were better ways to live.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter LR

Charles Murray addresses this problem of “studious avoidance” in his latest publication. Well worth a read. On the wider subject, we clearly need to restore the status quo ante in all sorts of areas pertaining to criminal justice and policing. Whether or not this is possible is another matter. However, for the record, were those who inflict these appalling injuries aware a) that they would likely be caught and b) that their punishment would involve decades of penal servitude, they might think twice before indulging their sadistic urges. And those who failed to think twice would be confined and so present far less of a danger to others.

Paul Davies
PD
Paul Davies
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Bring back the cane. Pain and humiliation are great deterrents. You dont see this kind of problem in Singapore
.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

Judging by the first few comments, everyone knows what is really happening. This silencing of good people is also a scandal and just as dangerous.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Q: if “everyone” knows what is really happening, why are “we” (“everyone”) allowing a small but vocal minority dictate the terms of the debate? Why is “everyone” (“we”), not fighting back and calling out the woke at every opportunity. Is “everyone” afraid of the few? When will we have the “Have you no decency, sir?” moment that put an end to McCarthyism? This is similar, but worse, much worse…

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

In my case, it would force me out of my profession because they are not a small minority in my field. Quite the opposite, they are in control. I used to think that I could make a difference, but I have now lost this illusion. At the moment I am preparing a career change – so that I can remove the muzzle – but most industries are the same (woke HR and woke corporate missions). Independent businesses are also very vulnerable to outside control with this pandemic and the closures. It’s not easy but I will do it.

Ray Hall
Ray Hall
2 years ago

I like articles which touch on things where I have had personal experience. I am not a gang member. I was stabbed in my home by a burglar – the police response was great , the paramedics response was great , the hospital was great and patched me up – then a year later the burglar was given a non-custodial sentence . Very reassuring.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ray Hall
Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

Hope you are fully recovered. Your experience echoes ours , except in our case the perpetrator is known to the police, the police knew who stabbed my family member, (not a gang member btw,) knew who instigated it and why, but cannot act because of lack of hard proof. Met with a wall of silence all the way round.
The wall of silence exists for two reasons, (i) because of the fear of retaliation, those who talk to the police would be at risk of being stabbed or worse, and
(ii) there is a very real, very deep distrust of the police, with some justification, I might add. Not just by the gang members but by many respectable people as well. There is an unwritten code, you do not talk or engage with the police at any cost.
It grieves me to say it but the police are actually part of the problem, they could do much, much more to win the trust of BAME communities.

Colin Elliott
CE
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

So the police must be infinitely virtuous, whereas it’s ‘justified’ for ‘BAME communities’ not to help them in upholding the law which enables all of us from whatever community to live in safety, anywhere in the country, let alone within a hospital.

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

I think you have misunderstood what I am trying to say. I most certainly did not say that not upholding the law is justified. I did say however that some groups will not aid the police through fear of retaliation, and through distrust. That distrust exists.
Incidentally, I do feel the police should be virtuous, to be otherwise is a little bit off, don’t you think? “Do as I do, not as I say” is the old expression which comes to mind.

Ray Hall
Ray Hall
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

Thank you. In my case the perp was white.I have nothing but praise for the police officers who assisted me. I cannot politely express my feelings at the court verdict without swearing But without swearing , I would point out that successive governments have said that they were going to be tough on crime. I do not expect a country’s policy to be changed for one case but there are many cases like mine and the gap between rhetoric and reality stinks.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago

Russians had to read between the lines of Pravda and Izvetsia during the Soviet era. I never thought we’d need to do the same here.

Sean Penley
Sean Penley
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Or even worse, didn’t judge people along those lines. I’ve been informed by reliable sources (i.e. those who ruin people who don’t agree with them) that judging people by merits rather than things like race, gender, etc. is the very mark of bigotry. I’m not sure I really understand, but my only job is to comply.

L Walker
L Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

We have to do it all the time here in the states. Ethnicity is almost never mentioned.

Leon Wivlow
Leon Wivlow
2 years ago
Reply to  L Walker

Interesting stat from The Times – for every black man killed by a white man, 11 black men are killed by black men.

Kristof K
Kristof K
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

The medical profession is perhaps the only one (one of the few certainly) whose members are required to vow to treat every human without consideration of their race/gender. The only relevant consideration affecting the nature of any medical treatment is the likelihood of benefiting the patient. Why do you think this doctor is obliged to mention anything else about the victims he/she treats that is irrelevant to their medical condition?

Mo Brown
MB
Mo Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  Kristof K

Why do you think this doctor is obliged to mention anything else about the victims he/she treats that is irrelevant to their medical condition?”
This is not a medical article. The author is illuminating a problem here, though selectively so as not to, you know, be “racist”.

Kristof K
Kristof K
2 years ago
Reply to  Mo Brown

The article is about something that is happening in a medical setting where the race/gender of the patients is not relevant.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
2 years ago
Reply to  Kristof K

As it strongly relates to who is doing the menacing, it certainly is relevant. I would imagine there is a very large overlap among the menacers and the victims. But, sure. Irrelevant if you wish it to be so. Carry on.

Adriana L
Adriana L
2 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

Indeed.

William Cameron
William Cameron
2 years ago

A very long article but no mention of the characteristics of the perpetrators.
Are they mostly Chinese ? Bhuddist ? Christian ? Hindu ? or something we mustn’t mention ?
You cannot fix a problem if you cannot talk about it .

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago

I think you are right, but we do have to make sure it is spoken about honestly, and the reasons why this violence is occurring. We cannot play the blame game.On another site I remarked that domestic violence should not become solely a feminist issue, which is what the author wanted, because 750,000 cases of domestic violence is violence against men, perpetrated by women. I am of the view that all domestic violence is wrong, irrespective of the gender of the perpetrator.
My post got down voted and then deleted.

Colin Elliott
CE
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

What is the ‘blame game’, and why shouldn’t we play it?

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

In my opinion (and I am not asking that anyone share it) I think it would be wrong to pick just one group, and say that the blame for violence rests entirely upon them.
In my experience violence goes across any social divide, be it racial, domestic or just plain naked aggression. Unless and until there is honest debate, it will continue.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
2 years ago

It deduce that it is the obviously the work of far-right extremists as I keep reading that it is the fastest growing threat in society.
Thank you Jane for speaking out on this, it’s absolutely jaw-dropping.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

You would surrender your capital city? We should become refugees, hiding in our own countries…This is not acceptable anywhere and it always spreads. Frankly, this attitude is part of the problem.

Mark Goodwin
Mark Goodwin
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

“Let all the poison that lurks in the mud hatch out”. And, of course, you have turned a blind eye to the obvious part of the problem.

Last edited 2 years ago by Mark Goodwin
JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Goodwin

You are too subtle for me. Can you explain this more plainly?

Mark Goodwin
Mark Goodwin
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

The first is a quote from ‘I, Claudius’ written by Robert Graves. A BBC 70’s/80’s drama. Claudius said this to his advisors when they told him that there were plots to overthrow him. He was in a bit of a grump at the time because he had just had his wife beheaded for having a gangbang with the Praetorian guards while he was away.
The second:

  1. The importation of gangland culture from the USA. We should alway’s be forearmed and forewarned by anything that happens in America.
  2. An ineffectual mayor who is also turning a blind eye to the root problem.
  3. A weak, ineffectual Met police force that is crippled by woke/liberal values and cannot tackle the problem head on.
Last edited 2 years ago by Mark Goodwin
JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Goodwin

Thank you, I would not have understood without your help. This show is older than me and I am not familiar 🙂 I agree that cultural transplants can be dangerous, but I must admit that my own country has exported many bad ideas too…Rather than turning a blind eye, I would call your London mayor very much part of the problem. Perhaps even worse than the incompetent socialist ‘managing’ Paris…The Met police, yes, this is shocking. They were once very admired. Now it seems that all they can do is take the knee and harass people for having the wrong ideas.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago

Yes, I remember that. He indicated that most of the London gangs of black teens were loosely based on national origin or descent – Jamaican gangs vs. Somali gangs vs. Senegalese gangs vs. Eritrean gangs, and so on.

Not only is the race/skin colour off limits for polite discussion, but also this background factor. It flies in the face of the narrative that there is a ‘Black Community’ who are naturally in common cause.

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

I think you will find that there is an awful lot of Black vs Asian violence and one of the worst gangs I know of is made up entirely of Albanian men. Not teenagers, fully grown men.
The last knife fight I heard of was between two Moroccans, no -one knew what had caused the argument to progress towards the use of knives, but neither man was listening to the bystanders begging them to put the knives down.

Margaret F
Margaret F
2 years ago

The bottom line on all of this: Enoch was right.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago

I would guess a high proportion of teens that were born in London, whatever the status of their parents. It’s notable that the author only mentions mothers.

Deborah B
Deborah B
2 years ago

Thank you for a revealing article. You deserve better security. It seems to me that if during Covid, hospitals can keep everyone out, why is it not possible (when managers know the risks) to keep out gang members who wish to kill their enemies? It’s a failure of management and a failure to protect all the staff. A dishonest policy set by those in charge.
It’s no wonder doctors are leaving the profession.
I’m fed up with the chattering classes turning the discussion into a woke rant. This article should be making us ask questions about why young people do not value their own lives or those of others. Life is cheap (regardless of race) when there is nothing worth living for. No possible alternative lifestyle.
I’m reminded of a recent episode of 24 Hours in Police Custody. Set in East Anglia. White kids in drugs gangs. Killing each other over territory. It’s not only a London problem but endemic in the UK.
I have long felt that the benefits system loads the levers in favour of ‘failure’. Teen mums getting a nice Council flat (to get away from the restrictions of parents) and also getting lots of attention from sympathetic social workers. I have great respect for social workers but the system is an absolute failure. And in time, the children become young people with no future. Except in a gang.
Time to reward success. Reward work. Reward not getting pregnant at 16 to get a Council flat or because you don’t know what else to do because you’ve messed up your education.
Time to reload the levers in favour of education, work, abstinence (sex and drugs), respectability.
I’m obviously out of touch but while there are no real consequences to wrongdoing, this will escalate.
Society as we have organised it is therefore doomed.
Phew, glad I’ve got that off my chest.

Hersch Schneider
HS
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago

Bingo.

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
2 years ago

Apparently decades ago the Kray twins terrorised londoners with very little bother from the law. What about if you look accross the pound and grow a pair? It’s pointless to have a joke of a police force that is more civilized than the criminals. The problems in some European countries are so serious that it is time to give some leeway to the police and turn a blind eye to some out of the book practices. A few years ago the English hooligans were very surprised in their encounters with our (at the time) less than civilized riot police to the general applause of of the British ex-pat community. The state has the legitimate monopoly of violence insofar it protects the weak. It seems clear that that wasn’t the case in Rotherham and now in the hospitals. Instead of policing hate speak on twitter and enforcing mask mandates what about if they do actual police work?

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

We recently commemorated the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence; the greatest crime ever, to judge by the reaction.
The Met. police found to be institutionally racist; the bereaved mother elevated to the peerage; the ancient protection of ‘double jeopardy’ overturned. The last done so that an acquitted defendant could be tried again.
But when black stabs black, it doesn’t seem so bad.

hayden eastwood
hayden eastwood
2 years ago

This is what the SJWs wanted isn’t it?
Thanks to Sadiq Khan et al, police do fewer searches and have less police presence to avoid hurting the feelings of the non-stabbers out there and, of course, that means more brazen carrying of knives and more stabbing.
Then, of course, the same people who had complained that the police were doing too much stop and search, then insist that “something must be done” to stop the needless destruction of black lives.
Then we rinse and repeat, as the powers that be pander to a mob who insist on a quantum mechanically impossible outcome: the benefits of having police without the presence of police.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

Depressing read, but needs to be heard…

Alan Thorpe
AT
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

Before this happens, there is a failure of parenting and police on the streets.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

The law is upheld not only by the police, but by the courts.

Ray Hall
Ray Hall
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Agreed – see my comments

Glyn Reed
Glyn Reed
2 years ago

“Perhaps wards have always been stormed by teenagers acting out rivalries in the most brutal possible ways. ”
No never has this been the case until past decade or so of absolute denial of inconvenient truths.
Why are these incidents never reported in the press? Again inconvenient truth that might be translated as racism by the millions of ‘white supremacists’ that apparently pose a threat to social cohesiveness in this country. The hands over ears and eyes approach of press and local and national government is allowing these gangs to act with greater and greater confidence in the full knowledge that there is no chance they will be caught and made to answer to the fullest.
This was painful reading. I’m so sorry. What a betrayal of hospital staff and patients by successive weak governments.

Last edited 2 years ago by Glyn Reed
Charles Hedges
CH
Charles Hedges
2 years ago

Shanghai was one of the most violent cities in the World hence the phrase for violent assault ” To be Shanghaid “. The Triads gangs were trained in martial arts, the instructor I believe had the title of “Red Pole”.
W E Fairbairn, a Policeman in Shanghai, a former Royal Marine Light Infantryman, trained in boxing, wrestling and bayonet figthing was nearly beaten to death by Triads. He travelled to Japan where he was taught Ju Jitsu, being awarded a 2nd Dan. By the mid 1920s large numbers of Police were being killed and small number of Triads. Fairbairn developed close quarter combat, combining un armed combat, knife figthing and pistol shooting at close quarters. Fairbairn had vast numbers of fights and his body was covered by knife scars. By the end of the 1930s, small numbers of Police were being killed and large numbers of Triads. He was active in Police Raids up to the of 55 years.
In WW2 Fairbairn and his Partner Sykes developed close quarter combat for the SOE and Commandos. In WW2 women in the SOE were trained the nurses in the Queens Alexandia Royal Nursing Corp were trained in unarmed combat . In fact nurses were sent to Scotland where they underwent were trained by sergeants in the Commandos and made to undergo forced marches, assault course and unarmed combat. Nurses captured in Hongkong and Singapore were raped and murdered. Those who were in Burma had to survive the long retreat northwards.
In The Malaya Emergency, he police found themselves fighting Chinese Communists who had been trained and armed by the SOE ( Force 136 ). Consequently The Police and especially The Special Branch were put through close quarter combat training by ex Commandos.
Simple solution, put all Police and offer to NHS staff the the SOE Close Quarter Combat training. Specifically train in defence from mass attacks and knives.Training should start with Chief Constables and make it compulsory for all NHS Managers.
Why should an emotionally mature responsible adult, at risk from attack, not want to achieve high levels of physical fitness and self defence? People spend vast anounts of time and money in gyms to look good, why not dojos and learn self defence? Or is it adults do not want to take responsibility for their protection ?

William E. Fairbairn – Wikipedia
Sisters In Arms: British Army Nurses Tell Their Story by Nicola Tyrer (Hardcover 9780297846581 | eBay

Diana Durham
Diana Durham
2 years ago

Are we allowed to know anything about these gangs? Are they immigrants, black, white, asian?

Ray Hall
Ray Hall
2 years ago

If there is ever a debate about the issues to which you allude, then the one side should adduce evidence – if any – for their implied proposition that all groups in society are equally prone to bring up their youngsters to be law- abiding . The other side should produce their evidence – if any – that this is not the case. Any evidence of societal bias should be shown and not assumed.
In Klartext – why is it assumed that all groups are equally law – abiding ??Why do we assume that all religions are equally peaceful? What is the chance that such equality really exists?

Last edited 2 years ago by Ray Hall
Ray Hall
Ray Hall
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Hall

I will make the text even plainer for you.

  1. I did not imply that any law-breaking should be tolerated . In this country we had the idea of the Queen’s peace . It is the duty of the government to make sure this is kept.
  2. The discussions provoked by this article stress the fact that crimes are disproportionately committed by some communities and not by others. Why is this the case ?
  3. Those who claim that disproportionate crime rates comes from bias / discrimination should demonstrate this if they can – to my mind their case is cherry-picked evidence and weak . I also think that they have not demonstrated how such such bias works in detail.
  4. There is this polite belief that all cultures are equal . That is a value-judgement . Where is the evidence that all cultures are equally good at bringing up their young to respect the law .?There seems on the contrary lots of evidence that some societies/ cultures are less competent at producing law- abiding children/ young people. For example , Japanese people do not seem to commit much crime , either at home or abroad, whereas Somali people have different rates.
  5. Genetic differences between the races. Seem to exist at the level of for example differential rates of diabetes. Are there significant group differences in terms of intelligence/ impulsivity/aggression ? Good luck on getting the funding for this one . And good luck on isolating the factors in 3. and 4 above.
  6. Finally , in the absence of of perfect studies, we should use the tools we have got **now to reduce crimes. These are the courts and tough policing. The latter needs the former . Singapore seems to show that this could work .
Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
2 years ago
Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
2 years ago

The trouble with having to read between the lines is that the story, or at least our interpretation of it, is informed by prejudice ( maybe we should ask Diane Abbott what she thinks ?) which, ironically, probably leads to prejudice and an “ism” of one sort or another, exacerbating the very narrative that the great and the good are trying to avoid in the first place aren’t they?

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

She has witnessed first hand through her very privileged son who turned into a drug addled maniac and attacked her. She had to call out the Police to protect her from him.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

That would be the same police, she once said had got ‘a bloody good hiding’ in a riot.

tamritzblog
tamritzblog
2 years ago

Thank you for an important article.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

Wow! See my post/s. I did not see yours when I wrote mine. Great minds think alike!

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Thanks, interesting post, It’s good to hear from the likes of yourself, who are knowledgeable and have actually worked on the frontline.

What’s depressing is the downvotes that followed your account. And also the woketards utter disregard for the communities they are supposedly “protecting”

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Lovely to hear your kind words, and the insight into my comments and some of the reactions. Really? Is there no appreciation of a bit of cheekiness?
There are no limits to the good deeds the white saviors are capable of. Afghanistan is Exhibit A.

Alan B
AB
Alan B
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

And it seems that fewer and fewer actual good deeds go unpunished. Evidently we are remaking our legal (and, aspirationally, “post-political”) order on the assumption that law abiding subjects should be presumed criminals.

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago

Even more horrible scenarios can be imagined. Just before I left Detroit in 2000, local gangs had started punishment shootings where they shot the victim in the neck. Obviously, some did not survive, but the real aim was to leave the victim permanently quadraplegic and having total nursing care 24/7. Cost to taxpayers 250K dollars a year at that time. Obviously the totally helpless victim wasn’t going to squeal. His attackers knew which ward he was in.

Manchester has already shown the way in its drugs and gangster violence history. The two policewomen killed by a hand grenade looked like a terrifying portent of escalation to military level violence. What next – bazookas? But that has not yet happened.

Matt Spencer
Matt Spencer
2 years ago

If they don’t mention the race it’s because they’re black. They tell us by omission.

Andrea X
Andrea X
2 years ago

I wonder if the fact that the author so studiously avoided any reference to race and ethnicity is the actual point of the article. In other words, s/he wanted to emphasize that all this is taboo, so you cannot tackle the root problem.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago

They all have fathers (biology innit) but either the fathers are too violent to be allowed around the kids, or they cannot be bothered to be a real presence in their sons lives.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

No, they don’t have fathers.
Just impregnating someone doesn’t make you a father, you are just a sperm donor.

There is a lot more needed to be a father, being involved, working hard to build a home for your kids and pay for schooling, doing daddy things like taking her to parks, football etc….

Ann Ceely
Ann Ceely
2 years ago

The immigrant aspect is a problem when they come from violent countries. It’s only human for them to over-react.

Live and let live not being sensible in their background.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

Ridiculous comment. Nothing stays in London; the county lines gangs have reached small provincial towns.
England is small, so when you’re menaced in Cornwall or Cumbria, where do you go next?

Mark Goodwin
Mark Goodwin
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Are people getting ‘bagged’ in Cornwall and Cumbria?

Last edited 2 years ago by Mark Goodwin
D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Goodwin

Not yet. And when they are it’ll be far too late.

Mark Goodwin
Mark Goodwin
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

That is my point really. It is London’s problem to sort out and make sure it doesn’t spread but they won’t for the reasons I cited above.

Last edited 2 years ago by Mark Goodwin
Leon Wivlow
JT
Leon Wivlow
2 years ago

‘A man appeared in court charged with murder after a 60 year old was stabbed to death in central London. Tedi Fanta Hagos was charged with the murder of Stephen Dempsey. Mr Hagos, from Swansea, …….’
Thus reported the BBC, without mentioning that Mr Hagos needed an interpreter during his hearing at Westminster magistrates court. Had Mr Hagos been white, I’ve no doubt we would have been told that he voted for Brexit and was obviously a white supremicist as he voted for Boris in the GE of 2019.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

This reminded me of one of the few things I remember as an ADA (assistant public prosecutor) in Brooklyn during the Golden Age of Crack (late 80s, early 90s), with the entire experience a haze of unimaginable (almost) violence and crime. I went to the hospital with some detectives to get a statement from a “victim,” think he was Mohammed. Although he was a shooting victim, he was on a gurney in the hallway waiting his turn–there were many other shooting victims and other medical emergencies. As we approached, the detective asked who shot him. Mohammed responded to the effect that he had no idea, must be a random shooting. The detective sort of laughed and said something like Wow, we have witnesses who said that someone called your name, you turned around, had a beef (conflict) with that person, who then pulled out a gun and shot you. And you have no idea who it was? Mohammed responded that he would take care of it himself, no need for police intervention. One has to (grudgingly) admire his moral code. And snitches get stitches.
I fervently hope that this toxic wave of knife crime in the UK will somehow diminish. Let’s hope the UK gets more guns.

James Joyce
JJ
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

What do you mean, next? This has already happened in the American west, where “misdemeanor” crimes are no longer crimes. You can steal under $1,000 worth of stuff in some places in America and it is, if not “legal,” it is tolerated based on the reasons you posit. It seems, and has been mentioned by some, that this is a form of “reparations.”
I was being a bit of the cheeky American here–apparently not quite understood even by UnHerd readers–with the moral code and also the gun comment.

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

I am allowed to carry in Oregon. I should be allowed to carry in my hometown, London.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Rod McLaughlin

Lock and load. Coming Civil War in the USA.

Alan B
Alan B
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

The economist Rajiv Seti has done some work indicating that people are less likely to cooperate with police in places where murder clearance rates are low. In such places effective sovereignty belongs to the gangs. In other words, “snitches get stitches” is more than rhetoric. So fwiw it’s doubtful that having more guns around will help (not to say they’d hurt, necessarily,) to ameliorate the stabbing problem.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Guns are definitely not the answer!!

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

A reaction to what’s happening today can be: woke, racist, or liberal. The first two will focus on the race/religion etc of the person and move from there. The third will ignore the race/religion etc and work on a universalist basis. Seeing you’re American, you may know that wokeism has its roots in Harvard University with Critical Legal Theory. Anyhow, UnHerd is a liberal publication, and it does a world of good being that.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

I am well aware of this unfortunate fact. In my defense, having worked as an attorney, I went out of my way to denigrate and humiliate those from the Ivy League where possible (often). To those who say ha, ha, ha, I assure you that I am serious. I try to continue to this day, but writing from Europe not always possible….
A slight quibble with your thoughts above: you say “move from there.” With respect, I suggest that they do not move from there, but stay there, as it is their raison detre. One funny example: The New York Times publishing an opinion piece suggestion that the prosecution of fraudster Elizabeth Holmes is misogynistic and sexist. Or maybe it was a news piece–so little difference in The Times these days.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

Thanks for your response. I guess it comes to where they would move on from there which in turn relates to why they subscribe to wokeism to start with. Curtis Yarvin does a really good analysis of this as far as I can see (though I very much disagree with his prescriptions). But the key power element there is the imperial power for me, and my thinking would be along those lines. Incidentally Ottoman Empire operated in very much the same way with explicit recognition of “millets” (corresponding to races today) each granted their own rights and obligations.

William Murphy
William Murphy
2 years ago

During the Troubles in northern Ireland, Belfast surgeons became world experts on treating certain shooting injuries. The sort of expertise that you hope never to acquire.

Peter Shaw
PS
Peter Shaw
2 years ago

The s***hole known as London

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
2 years ago

Back in 1996 my wife (an NHS doctor) applied to work in the Ryder Trauma Centre at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. In those days Miami was a very violent city (in the wrong suburbs).
My wife was hoping to get experience in major trauma to enhance her UK career
During the interview she asked the doctor interviewing her how many shootings he usually saw and was surprised at the answer “Only one or two a year” until she understood that the interviewer was referring to actual physical shootings he saw in the hospital … not the number of gun shot victims admitted every day!
She got the job and enjoyed a year on the front line – averaging about 7 gun shot victims a day… on the wet days the hoodlums would crash their cars and on the dry days they shot each other – a nice balance of trauma to deal with.
Sad to hear similar problems arising in UK hospitals – not much the hospitals can do about it on their own – it takes the combined efforts of the city, its police and citizens to defeat the habitual violence.

Lesley van Reenen
LV
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

I thought that would have been the big cities in South Africa. Surgeons would come here to do stints in our hospitals to learn how to treat stabbing victims.

Giles Toman
Giles Toman
2 years ago

Not many humans involved then.

David Lewis
David Lewis
2 years ago

Removed – wrong article!

Last edited 2 years ago by David Lewis
William Shaw
William Shaw
2 years ago

Maybe all that Unconscious Bias Training will solve the problem.

Kristof K
Kristof K
2 years ago

The medical profession is perhaps the only one (one of the few certainly) whose members are required to vow to treat every human without consideration of their race/gender. Why do you think this doctor is obliged to mention anything else about the victims he/she treats that is irrelevant to their medical condition?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Kristof K

First, of all, you are wrong with point one. At least in the USA and I suspect this disease is spreading to the world, many doctors are calling for special treatment for so-called minorities, up to and including mandatory favouritism of so-called minorities in allocating beds in ICUs. There is a huge movement in the USA to treat different races differently based on race, with more “care” going to what some say are traditionally oppressed groups. Also on this point, some doctors are very publicly refusing to treat patients who are not jabbed. What’s next: not treating patients who are fat? Not treating patients who smoke? It is clear beyond peradventure that the premise of your question is simply factually wrong.
Re the second part of your question, I believe that this doctor, writing here, has an obligation not to mislead her readers. Clearly she deliberately attempted to do just that, by omitting relevant facts. This is common in the USA now–not naming people arrested because the racial group can be easily determined by the name and not including race in the decription: Police are looking for a man 5′ 10″, 180 pounds wearing a red jacket. Can you really say with a straight face that this serves the public?
I respectfully submit these answers to your questions.

Kristof K
Kristof K
2 years ago
Reply to  James Joyce

If doctors are doing this then I would suggest they are in clear breach of the Hippocratic Oath; do they not bother with that in The States? Now you quoted part of a hypothetical crime report : “man 5′ 10″, 180 pounds”; this wouldn’t be a doctor so it doesn’t appear to support your point.

I agree there might well be an increasing tendency in “progressive” circles to skirt round use of race-specific language with reference to crime even when this might convey vital information, but I don’t think the doctor writing this article is obliged to discuss the race of his/her patients just to satisfy some cultural agenda.