Positivity was overflowing on the steps of Luton Town Hall this afternoon. Community Leaders, Faith Leaders and ordinary folk came together to show solidarity in the understanding there is more to Luton than the negative headlines in the press of recent months. Probably the most inspirational speaker was Delaney Brown Snr – his grandson was killed in September last year as part of the gang feud between Lewsey Farm (LU4) and Marsh Farm (LU3) – Delaney Jnr had gone to school with Kyle Beckford – they joined different gangs and Beckford ended up mounting the curb in a car, mowing Brown down and killing him. Beckford was jailed for 24 years in May this year. Delaney Snr spoke eloquently on the shocking events of Jnr’s death and what needs to be done – and is being done – to turn things around. His positive words about the community groups that gathered this afternoon and the huge amount of work Bedfordshire Police did in the investigation to bring his killer to justice were truly inspirational.
Dare I say it but things have quietened down regarding gang related trouble recently – the police launched a big operation recently to raid houses of suspected gang members on both the Lewsey Farm and Marsh Farm estates – numerous arrests were made and numerous weapons recovered. I’d like to think the intervention of the police and the positivity coming from this afternoon’s speakers has made a difference and things have indeed quietened down. Superintendent David Boyle made the point that things seemed more calm on the streets but the police were not taking their eyes off the ball and work was still on going to both calm situations and bring recent event perpetrators to justice.
Victor Evelyn (otherwise known as BLAPPS – Better Living And Positive Propaganda Society) and his friends roam the streets of Marsh Farm through the night and into the early hours of the morning – as a kind of community support team. They interact with the kids and if need be do their best to quash the spark of trouble. BLAPPS told me they are not a vigilante crew but are there as community elders ready with a video camera to work with the police should things get out of hand.
Many leaders of various groups got up on the steps of the town hall to speak – all with the same positive message – here are some of them here – along with some of the crowd that gathered.
I’d like to thank Leeroy Jenkins on the right in the picture above for bringing the rally to my attention – he does a huge amount of work with many youth groups in Luton and I’ll be attending the next Luton in Harmony meeting thanks to him.
I’d like to thank everyone that got up to speak today ! Without these guys working with the kids on the streets of Luton it would undoubtedly be a horrible place to live. There have been some terrible things happen in Luton recently but with the positive attitude of everyone at the rally today Luton will pull through. Best of luck with everything and I look forward to meeting you all again soon.