GMB weatherman Alex Beresford says gang members are groomed like paedophile victims

Good Morning Britain’s Alex Beresford said prison is the end result as he spoke passionately again about the UK knife crime epidemic

Good Morning Britain’s Alex Beresford has said young UK gang members are “groomed” like paedophile victims.

On Tuesday’s show, the GMB weatherman interrupted a debate to give a passionate rant on the UK knife crime epidemic .

Just 24 hours later, Alex was given a seat at the main desk during another discussion on the issue of violent crime.

The GMB star spoke passionately about tackling the root of the issues and insisted prison was a last resort.

He confessed that not all boys are victims but some of them are enticed into gangs and showered with expensive gifts.

Speaking on today’s show, Alex said: “The one thing I would say, I’m not saying all these boys are victims, but I find that some of them are.

“They are enticed into gangs by elders in the community, who shower them with the latest gifts they can’t afford from their parents and before you know it you feel in debt to the gang leader.

You’re set up on a run, you’re delivering drugs and they get robbed.

“You’re automatically in debt with the gang. The only way you can pay it off is to do more runs.

“By the time you’ve done all those runs to pay off the debt you are a fully co-operative member of that gang because you have been groomed.”

Alex admitted that we usually do not link grooming with gangs but it is a serious issue.

He continued: “Grooming is something we often associate with paedophiles but there are young boys out there being groomed into gangs.

“That’s why I wanted to raise that point yesterday about prison not always working.

“Prison is the end result. We need to start at the beginning so these boys don’t end up in prison.”

Good Morning Britain viewers took to Twitter with their support for Alex’s view.

One viewer said: “Speaks the truth. Prevention is the key. Start at the beginning and break it all down. Offer that support, encourage/show a different way of life. But the talking needs to stop and things need to start moving now”

“Totally agree with @alexberesfordTV the government should be investing in community groups to help tackle the problem. Your welcome to come and see us at #reformedeastsussex to see how valuable these services are,” added another.

A third said: “That young lad should be employed by the government to go and speak at schools across the board, and @alexberesfordTV both made allot of sense

This comes 24 hours after Alex shouted across the studio to call for changes to the environment kids are brought up in.

Alex clashed with John Apter, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, who called for more prisons to be built to act as a punishment.

Alex shouted: “Prison doesn’t work though. It does not work. I’ve grown up in some of these communities you guys are talking about. Prison is not a deterrent. Some of these boys don’t fear prison.

“If you don’t change the environment you wont change anything and that’s the key thing.

“This has been happening for years. And it’s not always in the media. It won’t change. It’s going to take several things to come together. Yes policing is one thing.”

At the end of the day, if you don’t change these boys’ environment.

“All of you guys on that side have benefited from the environment you’ve grown up in. You’ve benefited from this work environment. I’ve benefited from it.

“But these boys, not all of them get to benefit from the enivironment. If we don’t show them something else you won’t change it, sorry.”

*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am