Ross Kemp talks knife crime and Dame Barbara’s Dementia campaign.

Ross on a previous ITV documentary special.

BAFTA award winning reporter and former EastEnders hard man, Ross Kemp joined Eamonn Holmes OBE and Ruth Langsford on today’s This Morning to discuss the latest episode of his brand new documentary series ‘Living With.’ Tomorrow night’s episode focuses on knife crime.

On Boris Johnson’s recent pledge of ensuring 20,000 more police officers will soon be working on our streets, Ross commented:

“I think you’ve got to look at how you train those officers, how you recruit them and the most important thing is the time that we’ve lost with those officers… Certain communities have lost faith or trust in policing. And they’ve lost faith and trust in governments who promised to do things and don’t deliver. I think Brexit has been a fantastic smokescreen for some of that, because whilst everyone has been so focused on that, things like homelessness, things like young careers, things like knife crime have spiralled out of control.”

Ross has also fronted several successful documentaries for Sky One.

On what he’s learned about knife crime in the UK, Ross said:

“Listen, the most important thing that I have learned recently is that 285 people got stabbed last year… It’s predominantly 10-19 year old young people, three admitted every day in England and Wales with stab wounds. Looking at it, whatever is being done isn’t enough and it shows there’s nothing out there at the moment that shows things are going to change.”

On 10-year-olds committing these knife crimes, Ross questioned: “How can you understand the consequences of your actions? I still don’t understand the consequences of my actions and I’m 55 years old? It escalates so quickly because of social media.

Ross continued: “You and I fell out at school and it was dealt with at school or within the class. Now an entire area of a community will know that you and I have fallen out and that escalates very quickly because you’ll be egged on, I’ll be egged on and what would’ve been a fight outside of the school is now three people on three all carrying machetes.” On how to tackle knife crime Ross suggested:

“You’ve got to look at what causes a young person to carry a knife and a lot of them answer ‘I’m scared, it’s for my own protection.’ But if you carry a knife, you’re twice as likely to end up being stabbed.”

Ross makes an appearance on Car SOS.

On future projects Ross revealed:

“I’m making a documentary in Belmarsh at the moment, the repercussions of just that. The escalations, whether it be through gangs or whether it be just through people you hang out with. Knife crime not only affects the victim and his family, or her family, but also the perpetrator’s family. If you’re doing 25 years before you’re up for parole, that’s a long part of your life gone.”

On what he would say to perpetrators about life in prison, Ross candidly responded:

“I wouldn’t recommend it. But also some of these young people say to me ‘Well, you show me a better way. You give me better options.’ Because a lot of people aren’t doing this through choice, they’re doing it because they have to… And do you know what, they’re treating it like it’s a war out there and non-combatants are civilians and the enemy. That shouldn’t be happening in 2019 in my country.”

On what he hopes this documentary will achieve, Ross said:

“Understanding and awareness and the more we understand these problems, the more likely we are to come up with solutions.”

Ross is also well-known as an actor having appeared in both Emmerdale and EastEnders.

On how his childhood and family life influenced him to become a reporter, Ross revealed: “Well, my brother is a journalist, my dad was a police officer and my mum was a hairdresser. I think that’s a great training ground to become a journalist clearly, because you like asking the hard questions and you’re also prepared to listen.”

And finally Ross commented on his good friend Dame Barbara Windsor and her recent open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the state of Dementia care in this country:

“Good for her. Really proud of her and [husband] Scott for what they’re doing. Again, awareness creates better understanding and hopefully we’ll get governments to move. The thing at the moment is I think there’s a loss of trust, not just in this government but past governments. Trust has been lost and we need to get that trust back.”

This Morning airs weekdays from 10.30am on ITV, STV and UTV. Ross Kemp on Knife Crime airs at 9pm on August 8th on ITV, STV and UTV.

Ross as Grant with Dame Barbara as Peggy and Steve McFadden as Phil, the EastEnders’ Mitchell family.
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