WE WANT JUSTICE FOR OUR CHILDREN FAMILIES from Wirral have taken their fight for tougher laws on gang crime to the Houses of Parliament this week.
The group Families Fighting For Justice lobbied MPs, Lords and members of the criminal justice system on Monday afternoon for the introduction of the Gang Law, which could see tougher sentences for offenders.
At the end of the three hour session, Liverpool Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle said he would try to arrange a second meeting with Justice Minister Jack Straw.
It also emerged that a rarely-used law already existed which could be used to jail gangs who had committed crimes.
Among those hearing the case was Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative MP and founder of the Centre For Social Justice, who said: "We do have a problem with street gangs in this country and it needs to be addressed.
"Anti-social behaviour is something the police should be tackling. They should be on the streets stopping people who stop people getting on with their lives."
After the meeting, Greasby's Jean Taylor, who created the group following the murder of her daughter Chantel and arranged the visit to London with Wirral West Conservative Parliamentary candidate Esther McVey told the Globe: "We want another meeting with Jack Straw and hopefully he's going to accept our invitation for a meeting as a group."
Jean's 27-year-old daughter Chantel, a mum of three, was killed by former solider Stephen Wynne in 2004.
Jean had earlier lost a son, Stephen, which she believes led Chantel into the heroin abuse that ultimately led to her death at the hands of Wynne.
Jean continued: "I will write as well as Peter. I suppose the more letters Mr Straw gets will help.
"It's been good and I got to know a bit more about this gang sentence. I need to have a little look into it. I've never heard of anyone getting a group sentence, but if there is a law there why aren't the judges dishing it out and giving these gangs group sentences?
"Does the law need updating for what we need? Who knows. Maybe Jack Straw can help tweak it a bit."
Chantel's killer first hid her body in his loft, then later dismembered her and scattered her body parts in Royden Park and Bidston Tip. Her remains have never been found.
He was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 18 years.
Also at the meeting were the Croft family, whose son Stephen was beaten and then burned on a bonfire by a teenager on Bonfire Night 2007.
Jean now believes life must mean life and said "It would mean a lot to me if the gang law was passed.
"My children weren't murdered by gangs but when the group was up and running we found there were many members who were carrying the second pain of injustice, that their children were murdered by gangs and they didn't get justice.
"They build up a wall of silence and this wall of silence must be broken. The only way to break that wall of silence and stop gangs getting away with murder is to send them to prison.
"The term 'Life' doesn't mean anything anymore. Life should mean life.
"The wall of silence has to broken and a clear message sent that no-one is above the law.
"I'm more than confident that this law will be passed.
"It's not a question of 'if', it's just a question of 'when.'"
After the meeting Esther McVey said: "This is a vital and much-needed update of the law.
"We've seen too many young lives lost to gangs and nobody really getting a sentence." THE GLOBE