ColumnistsVogue Williams

VOGUE: We need longer sentences for knife thugs

Reece Cullen
Reece Cullen

I write my column each week depending on what I’ve seen in the news and pick topics I want to share because I feel they are important.

I work the same way with my documentaries; they are ideas that come from anything that sparks an interest in me and are issues that I feel need to be highlighted.

Each week I read horrific stories about crime in Ireland, but what seems to be on the increase is knife crime.

 I read about it daily in London and associate it with gangs over here.

Young teenagers that are part of gangs in London are prolific in their knife use and they don’t seem to value life very much.

What I’ve noticed over the past couple of years is the rise in knife crime at home in Ireland and I find it quite frightening.

A lot of young teenagers in gangs in Ireland all seem to be carrying knives as if it’s part of their outfit.

 just didn’t grow up like that.

I never fought with people outside my family and I certainly didn’t know anyone who carried a knife.

Even the most level-headed, calm person could turn to using a knife if they carried it with them and they were attacked.

There is a lobby to get sentences increased for anyone caught carrying a knife, with calls now for a mandatory sentence of 10 years for anyone caught with the weapon.

I genuinely feel that it’s the only way forward and the best way to eliminate knife crime from our streets.

There is no excuse for carrying a weapon because if you do, you obviously intend on using it.

Over the Christmas period a young man was stabbed in Dalkey and another elderly lady was stabbed on the doorstep of her own home.

And this week 16-year-old Reece Cullen tragically lost his life in Jobstown.

That’s just in two weeks in Ireland and these stabbings won’t be the last.

It’s almost becoming a weekly occurrence.

We are not a big country and the amount of knife crime that is happening just highlights how big the problem is.

I was mugged years ago in Sutton as I was walking along a quiet housing estate on my phone.

It was by a group of teenagers, but it was only one who grabbed my phone and threw me to the ground.

I wouldn’t let go of my phone. In hindsight I should have let it go, but my instinct was to prevent the mugging.

Thinking back to it now I wonder what would have happened if that person had a knife on them? I’m quite sure it would be a very different story to the one I am writing now.

I consider myself lucky that when I was mugged 10 years ago our knife crisis wasn’t as bad as it is today.

Player deserved red card for tweet


I READ a vile story online last week of a footballer who trolled another player in the most despicable way ever.

Alfie Barker taunted Ireland star Harry Arter over the still birth of his daughter.

Barker tweeted after a match: “Big hype just for a disappointment like the 9 months leading up to your childs birth.”

 The 18-year-old striker for Codicote in the South Midlands League made the claim that the abuse was out of character for him.

There’s nothing this stupid little boy can say about the revolting and insensitive remarks he made about a stillborn child that would make me forgive him or feel in any way sorry for him, even after he was fired from his team.

I know that more and more companies are checking what their employees are doing online, so it’s possible for them to lose their jobs just like Alfie Barker did and I think that’s a good thing

I am not getting Piste for jump


I FLEW out to Austria on Tuesday to begin filming for the TV show The Jump. It’s been a really great week out here and I’ve gotten to know the whole cast very well.

We have such a great group and the crew are so much fun that it feels like a big holiday.

I do have to say I’m exhausted, though. We ski up to six hours a day and then I’ve been coming back to the hotel to train as part of my January health kick.

It’s quiet where I am so it’s going to be a very chilled out six weeks.

We don’t really get much time off and when we finish skiing I’m actually too tired to even go out for a drink. I’ve been attempting to work on my book in the evenings as well.

Writing is the time I chill out and I see it as my kind of mindfulness time.

 I just can’t get over how tired I feel after skiing each day, so fingers crossed I actually get my book done on time!