talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer has condemned the media coverage of the “horrific” killing of a 17-year-old girl, saying politicians and journalists only care about knife crime when it is “white middle-class girls” being stabbed.
The Metropolitan Police said Jodie Chesney had been playing music with five other teenagers in an east London park on Friday night when two males walked up to the group and one stabbed her once in the back.
Hosting her show, Julia said: “I have been saying for eight years now when white middle-class girls start getting stabbed then people will pay attention. What a surprise.
“The horrific murder of Jodie Chesney, a 17-year-old girl scout, in East London – a nice leafy area – she got stabbed to death at the weekend.
“It was the same 24 hours a straight-A-student Yousef Makki and now they papers are paying attention. Her death warrants a front page - as does Yousef Makki’s. Why? Because they are ‘people like us’.”
Yousef Makki, a 17-year-old boy, was stabbed to death in Hale Barns, near Manchester on Saturday afternoon.
Julia added: “The reality is that this could have always happened to our children because the spate of knife crime in our country is out of control.”
'A tiny paragraph on page 42'
Flower tributes left near Harold Hill, east London for Jodie Chesney, 17-year-old girl stabbed to death on Friday night.
Julia added that “the reality is” that normally victims of knife crime are often given only “a tiny paragraph on page 42”.
“The problem is that they live in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are living on sink estates where joining a gang is not about being the big-I-am – joining a gang is about staying safe – it is about not being a victim of that gang,” she said.
“Carrying a knife is not about threatening other people, it is about trying to stay alive on your way home from school. If we don’t tackle this problem – from left, right, centre and behind – we are going to see more of our youngsters being killed needlessly in this way.”
She added: “One day it will be your 17-year-old that gets stabbed in a park. It will be my 17-year-old who gets stabbed on the way home from school.
“Every single one of those lives is worth the same.”