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Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 14:32 GMT
'Street violence will get worse'
Martin Edwards
BBC News, London

Adam Regis
Adam had been to the cinema earlier in the evening

Community worker Cheryl Sealey is uncompromising in her analysis of the violent crime among young people which has continued with the knife murder of Adam Regis.

"There's going to be another one," she said.

"It will probably be retribution for Adam's death - it's going to get worse before it gets better.

"It's a sad reality but I have to be honest with myself and the truth has to be told."

Ms Sealey works for the London-based voluntary group Victim Aid.

It works with young victims of crime and their families, offering practical and emotional support for those affected by violence.

She says she is not surprised by the latest fatal stabbing.

Lost generation

"It's almost as if a whole generation of young black men are going to be missing off the map," she said.

"We've already had the lost generation back in the 80s with the introduction of the 'sus' laws - and some of the boys back then are fathers now."

She continued: "There needs to be more consultation with young people.

"Too often we speak about young people and build policies around them yet there's a lack of involvement of young people themselves. They're excluded.

"They are our future and we need to be preparing them to take control of their community. As long as they're excluded we will keep getting it wrong."

Some of her views were echoed by Prime Minister Tony Blair at a news conference on Monday.

Scene of stabbing

"I think there is a particular issue amongst particular sections of particular communities where you get families and individuals that are just shut out of society's mainstream," he said.

"And we need very specific measures to target them and we need to do that at an early stage."

He said recent incidents had been "horrific" but pointed out that the most serious violent crime rates were falling.

'Not paradise'

But that is small comfort for the residents of Plaistow, east London, where Adam Regis lived.

"There is huge sorrow for the boy and his parents, particularly, of course, as it happened just before Mothering Sunday and that itself has had an enormous impact on people and has created immense sadness," said local vicar Father Roy Reynolds.

Father Reynolds, who took up his post as team vicar of St Martin's Church in Boundary Road, added: "There is crime there and you can't make it out to be paradise because it is not.

"There is crime and I know people who have been mugged but it is not a place that is wracked with crime."




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