British actor Idris Elba has urged “gangs to put down the Knifes” and stop engaging in “dumb” violence in a passionate video about escalating London crime.
The Luther star – who grew up in Hackney – took to his personal Instagram account to speak out against the ongoing crisis, posting staggering statistics regarding stabbing incidences within the city.
Alongside his recorded message, he wrote: “This is NOT NEW but it IS STILL A PROBLEM. So many Mothers/Fathers have had to bury their CHILDREN and FAMILY due to stabbings. This is happening to black young kids/men doing it to ourselves. We wear the same skin but yet we act like we hate that skin, our identity. It’s dumb.”
Idris Elba has spoken out about the ongoing knife crime crisis in London (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)Read more: Sadiq Khan demands more police funding
Speaking to the camera, the Thor: Ragnarok actor told his 3.5 million followers that if they know someone who has got a knife, they should tell them to “stab themselves” because they’re essentially “stabbing [their] future” if they do it to another individual.
“You become a murderer, you go to prison, you ain’t got s***,” he went on. “For what? For some beef that lives within your community. You need to see past that.”
Encouraging his fellow “entertainers” to raise awareness and challenge young people’s perception about what it means to carry a knife, Elba continued: “There will ALWAYS be Gangs, Rivals, Struggles In communities, we can’t control that BUT we can make noise about the STABBINGS!! We need to make noise to protect these kids.
“Waiting for the Police to do something isn’t a REAL solution, WE cannot WAIT for that. Let’s own this and encourage these gangs to put down the Knifes. ENTERTAINERS IF YOU GIVE A F**K, MAKE A VIDEO TODAY PLEASE.”
Elba’s comments have undoubtedly been fueled by the growing concern that knife crime is becoming increasingly rampant. There have reportedly been 39 people killed by such incidences so far this year.
Just recently, police forces throughout England and Wales called upon the government to allow them bigger budgets to tackle blade-related violence up and down the country by employing extra officers. On Thursday 7 March however, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told them they must work with their existing levels of funding.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott later described the decision as “monstrous” during the urgent question on knife crime in the Commons. She added: “[It is] an insult to grieving families. The police are under pressure in nearly every area. What we need is more resources for the police and we need them now.”