Betteridge’s City Hall Meeting Cut Short

Synergy Artistes head Dave Betteridge’s meeting with the Mayor Of London’s Office on ways to stamp out gun and knife crime was cut short by the news that deputy mayor Ray Lewis is to be investigated for sexual misconduct and financial irregularities.

"We got cut off mid-meeting and I am not sure when we will reconvene," Betteridge explained, the day after London Mayor Boris Johnson announced he will launch an independent inquiry into the allegations against his deputy.

Betteridge, who runs London-based Synergy Artistes, is trying to launch a music industry initiative aimed at lowering the number of people being murdered on the capital city’s streets.

Lewis, who is deputy mayor for young people, is leading a drive to get kids off the streets and into activities that raise their aspirations and help turn their lives around.

Although the meeting was cut short by the shockwaves that went through City Hall when the news about Lewis broke, it did last long enough for Betteridge to be encouraged by support from the National Union Of Students’ entertainment organisers.

His own ideas for a music business campaign include asking artists to donate a track toward a CD that would be sold to raise funds and awareness.

He’s also planning to invite some key industry figures to a meeting with some of the people working on the ground with young offenders.

"This may not be all about money; mentorship could become an important element too," he explained.

The day before the meeting, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair announced that a special clampdown operation by the London force May 19 to June 29 resulted in 1,214 people being arrested for possession of weapons and knife-related crimes.