IslingtonTribune

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Former youth chief backs anti-knife crime chicken boxes

Backing for controversial scheme branded ‘explicitly racist’ by MP

23 August, 2019 — By Emily Finch

A ‘knife-free’ chicken box

THE council’s former youth chief has backed the controversial scheme of stamping anti-knife crime messages on fried chicken boxes.

The government’s move to put “knife-free” slogans and messages on takeaway boxes to stop youngsters carrying knives has been criticised as being “explicitly racist” by Labour’s Tottenham MP David Lammy.

There were protests outside the Home Office headquarters in Westminster on Tuesday about the plan.

Councillor Joe Caluori

But Councillor Joe Caluori – who stepped down from the cabinet in January after six years in the role – said: “Low-income young males are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of knife crime. They eat and meet in chicken shops because the food is tasty, filling and cheap.

“Also those shops are one of the few public places they can go these days. So placing messages about knife crime in chicken shops makes sense.”

Cllr Caluori, who is a backbench councillor and a Labour Party member, said he expected to get a “kicking for this”, adding on Twitter: “No, it isn’t the answer, yes we need early intervention and investment in education, training and youth services and family support services – but why on earth wouldn’t you communicate with at risk young people in a place they go to?”

The Home Office chicken boxes are being sold in 210 shops.

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