London emergency doctor: We should not rest until we have fixed epidemic of violence between kids in the capital

A London doctor has spoken of the “upsetting” number of “children” that had to be treated for stab and gunshot wounds by Barts Health in a weekend of violence in London.

Jonny Scrimshaw, an emergency medicine trainee at the east London NHS Trust, declared that “we shouldn’t rest” until this “epidemic of violence” has been fixed.

Mr Scrimshaw’s words came after a 17-year-old girl, named as Tanesha Melbourne, was killed in a suspected drive-by shooting in Tottenham and a boy of 16 was left fighting for his life after being shot in Walthamstow on Monday night.

Amid a flurry of violent crime in the capital, 20-year-old Devoy Burton-Stapleton was fatally stabbed while walking home in Wandsworth in the early hours of Sunday.

Tanesha Melbourne was shot dead in a suspected drive-by shooting while chatting with friends

And on Friday, Reece Tshoma, 23, was fatally stabbed near Plumstead station.

Four more youngsters aged in their teens or early 20s have been murdered on London’s streets since March 14.

Police at the scene in Walthamstow where a 16-year-old boy was shot on Monday evening (PA)

In a series of tweets, Mr Scrimhaw said that “we have made a society… that fails” young people, adding: “It’s time for a concerted effort from society and government to address this…”

He added that as much planning and effort should go into combating “the morbidity of knife crime” as goes into “stopping radicalisation and terrorism”.

He said: “The number of children stabbed and shot this weekend that we have had to treat @NHSBartsHealth is very upsetting.

“This is an epidemic of violence against and between kids and we ought to be outraged, we ought to be motivated to fix it and we shouldn’t rest until we have.”

He admitted that “even in medicine, where we see the cost of these injuries, we normalise these events – “they grow up quickly”, “he looks older”, “it’s a gang thing” but these are children – protected by law from injuring themselves with alcohol, tobacco, fighting in the armed forces…”

“As a society we, the adults, deem these kids do not have sufficient capacity to understand politics and vote, yet we have made a society on their behalf that fails them. It’s time for a concerted effort from society and government to address this…,” he added.

Mr Scrimchaw said: “We have a plan and spend millions on Prevent through government agencies for stopping radicalisation and terrorism, but stopping the day to day morbidity of knife crime in London requires just as much thought, energy and money…

“It should not just be up to the hard work of charities and caring individuals to fix this, but something we put near the top of our agenda as a country and allocate effort and resources accordingly.”

Barts Health incorporates St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Mile End Hospital, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Newham University Hospital.

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