Idris Elba has had enough of teenagers turning to knife crime in London.
The 45-year-old Luther star pleaded with youngsters to “put the knife down” after pictures emerged of paramedics and police tending to victims of a mass stabbing involving 30 teenagers on an estate in Camberwell, south London.
Four teenagers were injured, leaving one with life-changing injuries in the incident earlier this month (Aug18). Eight people were later arrested.
“Look in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘Where do you want to end up?’ It is really clear. You can end up in jail for stabbing someone. Put the knife down, go somewhere else and make a career,” Elba said, according to the Mirror Online.
The actor recently made his directorial debut with gritty drama Yardie, about a young Jamaican called D seeking revenge on the gangster who killed his brother.
“D faces two roads. The left one is full of hatred. Down the right lies a better person within himself,” he said of his leading character. “I think for an 18-year-old kid now, it is really hard to separate themselves from the clouds.”
According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics, knife crime across the U.K. rose by 21 per cent last year.
Almost 40,000 offences involving knives or sharp weapons were recorded by police, and stabbings in London are at their highest level in six years.
Elba grew up in a council flat in Hackney, London – an area he previously described as “crawling with gangs, crime and poverty” – and left school at the age of 15.
Choosing a career in acting, he said he witnessed his peers “mixing with the wrong crowd” and heading “down the wrong path”.