An east London council today told parents to “take more responsibility for their children” after revealing three teenagers had been stabbed in the borough since schools reopened at the beginning of March.
Barking and Dagenham Council said its data shows an increase in serious youth violence between the hours of 3pm to 7pm, when schools finish and before many parents get home from work.
“All three of the recent stabbings happened during this time,” a council spokesman said.
“In the last few weeks, three school-aged children from Barking and Dagenham have been the victim of a stabbing and once again the council, along with local secondary schools, is asking parents to take more responsibility for their children by knowing what they’re up to when not at home.”
Victims included a 16-year-old boy who was left fighting for his life after being knifed at about 3.45pm in Hulse Avenue, Barking.
The town hall launched its Lost Hours campaign last year, which features local parents Peter Chesney and Beatrice Mushiya who lost their children in knife attacks talking abut their experiences.
It has now provided all secondary schools in the borough with a “toolkit” for them to share with parents, which includes flyers and posters.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “Kids shouldn’t be killing kids, but unfortunately it is happening on our doorsteps and across London.
“Does your child take calls at all hours of the day, do they have new clothes or unexplained money? If so, they could be involved in something they shouldn’t be. Please speak to them before they do something they may regret.”
Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, cabinet member for education and school improvement, added : “It breaks my heart every time I hear that another young person has been stabbed and I just can’t understand why young people would want to hurt each other.
“We must all work together to put a stop to youth violence and I’m appealing to parents to please check-in with their children, start questioning them, asking where they are and what they’re doing when they’re out with friends.”