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New film shows hidden world of youngsters

Ill Manors is a film due to be released on 6th June.  Written by musical artist, Plan B, it tells the story of youth gangs in North London.

Camila Batmanghelidjh is the founder of London charity,  Kids Company, and has reviewed the film.  She says that she has come across all the characters during the last 16 years of working within the youth culture of London.  She said “The film is an incredibly accurate portrait of that kind of environment. The little boys terrorised into joining the criminal network are just so real. It demonstrated what I keep telling people: don’t say a child chooses to join a gang; there is no choice. The cycle  is so accurate.

“I want to get a copy of this film and deliver it to the prime minister and say: “This is another bit of your country that you don’t talk about, you don’t see, but nevertheless, large numbers of children and young people are trapped in this life.” For the past 16 years I’ve been trying to describe what these kids’ lives are like. It’s very difficult for people to visualise the way they live.

“I’d argue that the exposure to violence and sexual assault of children in street gangs at the moment is, in scale, a bigger child protection issue in this country than the violation of children in family homes. I remain hopeful that at some point someone will stand up and take the lead on this.”