Eastenders star Scott Malsen has opened up about the personal reasons behind his fight to stop knife crime in the UK.
The actor, who plays Jack Branning in the BBC show, recalled how he himself grew up in an area with “not many prospects” and can see a “mirror to what is happening now”. Scott grew up in south east London in Woolwich, an area he believes was negatively affected by government spending cuts.
“There were not many prospects and I see that being a mirror to what is happening now,” he told The Mirror. “You get such a barrier between the haves and the have-nots, which ain’t getting smaller.
“The majority of politicians don’t seem to see this massive gap. I am a parent of an 18-year-old son. I care about the kids, but they need discipline.”
Now Scott is working with the local council in Camden, London, to give kids a safe place to go, saying he wants to give them the message that “life is not s**t”.
Scott told The Mirror: “I am working now with the council to try and set up a programme about knife crime and get a space set up.
“I want to work on a blueprint so actors and musicians, people in the world that can influence people, can start doing workshops or youth clubs. We want to go to local business for support.
“It’s going well. You have to get everyone involved, like the police. I want to get back to youth clubs and knowing people in your area.
“There are a lot of single-parent families and some may not be getting guidance. I want to help the people doing the work. I want to lend myself to them.”
There have already been over 40 fatal stabbings this year, according to The Mirror.
Eastenders tackled this issue during one of its recent storylines, which cumulated in the tragic death of Shakil Kazemi.
EastEnders airs on BBC One