Footballer Rio Ferdinand has called on the Government to do more for Britain’s most vulnerable young men after a teenager was murdered less than a mile from where he was born.
The England and Manchester United defender said he was shocked by news that a 17-year-old boy died after being shot in the neck and stabbed during a suspected gang clash in Peckham, south east London.
Ferdinand was brought up on the Friary Estate, less than a mile from where residents said rival gang members armed with knives and a gun clashed on Wednesday afternoon.
Writing on his Twitter feed, the 32-year-old footballer said Peckham was “again in the news for the wrong thing” and called on the Government to “sort this out please”. He said “a number of things need to change” and young men need real role models, good parenting, respect, drive, opportunities and a “goal in life” as well as something to do.
Ferdinand added: “If the youth clubs etc were there before now then maybe some kids would have something to do (activities/sports etc) to keep them occupied. Parents to take some blame is the most common response, I agree to a certain extent but cutting funds for youth clubs etc doesn’t help.”
The 17-year-old victim, the 19th teenager to die violently in the capital this year, was found bleeding to death in a stairwell on the fourth floor of Heron House on the Pelican Estate.
Residents said the black youth was seen running through the block banging on the front door of one eighth floor flat as he tried to escape shortly after 4pm on Wednesday.
Two other teenagers suffered stab wounds, a 17-year-old found in a flat in neighbouring Gannet House and an 18-year-old who attended King’s College Hospital with minor injuries.
Detectives from Scotland Yard’s Trident unit, led by Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Allison, were investigating what sparked the violence.
Three suspects, two aged 17 and a third aged 18, were arrested at the scene and are being questioned at south London police stations.