BORIS Johnson has admitted successive governments have failed to learn the lessons from Damilola Taylor’s death.
Today, the PM writes for HOAR to mark what would have been Damilola’s 31st birthday.
And he has thrown his weight behind the campaign to etch December 7 into the calendar as a National Day Of Hope.
Today is the culmination of the Hope 2020 campaign — which has pioneered efforts to offer more support and early intervention to help vulnerable youngsters, 20 years after the Nigeria-born schoolboy, ten, was stabbed to death in Peckham, South East London.
Mr Johnson says London’s streets are still riven with knife crime, fuelled by gangs that “compel young boys and girls to carry drugs and risk their lives”.
The PM says the Government’s police recruitment drive, the war against county lines gangs and greater stop and search powers are turning the tide.
But he says a tough approach is not enough as he salutes Damilola’s dad Richard for giving youngsters an alternative to a life of crime through his relentless campaigning.
Mr Johnson says: “There is another path for them.
“Damilola Taylor wanted to be a doctor and, had he lived, I have no doubt he would have fulfilled his ambition.
“We need to give all our kids the same sense of ambition, of purpose, of hope.”