Kevin Mitchell Exclusive: Dagenham will become like the Bronx
08:50 11 March 2015
Pro boxer Kevin Mitchell met with reporter Dave Evans in an exclusive interview
Dagenham professional boxer Kevin Mitchell says that unless something is done about drugs in the area, the town will resemble the Bronx in New York in years to come.
The world lightweight title contender has lived in and around the area all his life and has seen drugs get more prolific as he has grown up.
“Those streets out there are rife with drugs,” said the 30-year-old fighter. “I was amongst it as a kid, but the job got me out of it, but drugs are getting harder now too.
“Crack is going around like wild fire, cocaine is around as well and the dealers have no respect for anyone. It is just horrible to see.
“You can thank the government for that because they know what is happening, but they ain’t going to do anything about it.
“This place is going to be like the Bronx in a few years time.
“if you go to prison, it like a holiday camp isn’t it? You get your playstation, you get your films, it is no deterrent.”
Mitchell goes into schools to help out where he can and he believes that the introduction of boxing would help with discipline.
“I went into the schools to teach boxing in the past. We went into about 14 schools and we found two national champions along the way, but it certainly helps with discipline as well,” he said.
“I was at a school the other day and one of the teachers said to me that she couldn’t control the class. I went in there and said ‘Stop messing around, or words to that effect’. I said ‘shut your mouth you little idiot or I will give you a slap’ that is what they listen to and understand.”
Knives are also a problem in the area, Mitchell should know, he was given community service for possession of an offensive weapon a few years back.
As he explains though, there were mitigating circumstances.
“I got community service and almost went to prison, but it was a penknife and it wasn’t even mine,” he said.
“The police knew I wasn’t the sort of person to carry a knife. I said if you do forensics you will fine there are fingerprints on there, but they ain’t mine. They said ‘whose are they?’ and I just said I wasn’t going to tell them that.
“I am friends with police officers but this one wanted to send me to prison just because I wouldn’t give the name of the kid I took the pen knife off.
“Everyone carries them for protection these days. It is just what happens nowadays and it is difficult to know what to do about it.”
Check out our Kevin Mitchell Special in the Post this week.