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Tears flow at sombe occasions to remember young knife attack victim

PUBLISHED: 14:05 18 July 2007 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 September 2010

AS the grieving parents of schoolboy Martin Dinnegan bravely try to come to terms with their tragic loss, hundreds of friends, teachers, school mates and other sympathisers assembled last Tuesday night and again at his funeral to remember him and to prote

AS the grieving parents of schoolboy Martin Dinnegan bravely try to come to terms with their tragic loss, hundreds of friends, teachers, school mates and other sympathisers assembled last Tuesday night and again at his funeral to remember him and to protest at his violent death.

Alongside the grief and the sorrow is a feeling of disbelief and anger at this horrific event. Who could hope to explain or understand the death in broad daylight - and in such violent circumstances - of a decent young lad with a bright future and an endearing ambition to grow up and become a builder, just like his dad?

By all accounts Martin Dinnegan was a model teenager and an example for other young people to follow. The shocking event that cost him his life is a symptom of a deepening malaise within our society.

Fifteen teenagers across the capital have been fatally shot or stabbed this year. Met commissioner Sir Ian Blair's blitz on teenage gang violence comes not a moment too soon. In some areas of Camden, decent people are becoming increasingly concerned for their own safety as gangs of menacing youths roam the streets, looking for trouble.

It is all very well for police to urge people to keep things in perspective, but it is not easy when the troublemakers are at their work night in, night out, as is the case on Malden Road where residents are at their wits' end. If mature people feel so threatened by the surge in what is benignly described as 'anti social behaviour', what hope have innocent and defenceless youngsters like Martin Dinnegan?


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