Politicians need to "do more than a couple of chicken boxes" to stop knife crime, says Rapman

21 November 2019, 15:20 | Updated: 21 November 2019, 15:28

Andrew Onwubolu, known as Rapman, has written and released a feature film, Blue Story, which exposes the realities of knife crime in Deptford, London.

Shelagh asked what Rapman would say to politicians who are trying to solve knife crime.

"They're going to need to do a bit more than a couple of chicken boxes," said Rapman, referring to the anti-knife crime messages printed on chicken boxes, "I get their intentions were clear, good and clean-hearted but it's not going to do anything, they're just going to eat their chicken and throw their box in the bin."

Rapman said politicians need to understand the problem in order to know how to tackle it and that's why films like Blue Story will show them a world they've never seen.

Shelagh said she was both shocked and sad at watching young boys wanting to keep away from knife crime but being pressured into gang violence.

A character in the film starts off in a good place and "ends up on the wrong side of the track"; Rapman said, "If you know the path then you can cut them off in the middle before they go to the end."

Shelagh asked if Rapman trusts Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn to put knife crime as a high priority if either become Prime Minister.

Rapman said the government "needs to do more than chicken boxes"
Rapman said the government "needs to do more than chicken boxes". Picture: PA

"I hope they do," he said, "if they're going to keep on plastering it - if it's going to be in the headlines, if they're going to speak about it, how can it not be? It's young people dying. It's young people scared so they feel like they have to carry a weapon. How can that not be at the top of a priority list?

"As human beings, it should be up there with everything. I really do hope whoever does end up in Number 10, does take it as a serious, serious issue and tries to tackle it properly."

Rapman maintained that poverty is the main reason for knife crime. "Anywhere there's poverty there's going to be gangs. When you don't own anything, if you don't have any expensive items, you don't have anything that's worth monetary value, all you have is what you love.

"I loved this estate growing up, ever since I was 5 years old, so I'm going to become territorial." It becomes your world, he continued: "If someone is going to come into my world and tries to disrespect it, tries to invade it, tries to take anything from there, this is all I have so I'm going to fight for it."

It's a wider world than that, he said, and that's what he wants young people to know.

"There's so many opportunities now," Rapman said, "I want these kids to know there's so much more than their estate."

Blue Story is out in cinemas on 22 November.