BBC OnePanorama


Page last updated at 12:49 GMT, Monday, 1 August 2005 13:49 UK

Guns, knives and children

A Glock pistol
Guns, knives and children
Sunday 31 July 2005
22:15 BST, BBC One
This is a journey into the ever more brutal world in which many children are growing up. A world of tough housing estates where reputation can mean everything. Where violence gives you status and respect.

In an unprecedented series of interviews, some of Britain's most violent young prisoners describe a way of life that has left them in jail and a trail of victims in their wake.

The programme has gained access to interview six of Britain's most violent adolescents in prison. Young men who've stabbed, tortured, even murdered, while still in their teens.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in tonight's programme and would like to talk to someone in confidence please call the BBC Action Line on 0800 068 0062

Lines are open seven days a week, from 7:30am until Midnight. All calls are free and confidential.

They tell chilling stories of carrying and using weapons as children; of territorial gang fights; of the severe punishment meted out to anyone deemed guilty of disrespect. And - most worryingly - of their complete lack of empathy for their victims.

Consultant clinical psychologist, Dr Tanya Byron, has worked with violent young offenders and tries on the programme to make sense of what is going on in the minds of these young men.

Production team:
Reporter: Shelley Jofre
Producer: Murdoch Rodgers
Deputy Editors: Andrew Bell, Frank Simmonds
Editor: Mike Robinson

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