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An article taken from Fighting Knife Crime

Fighting Knife Crime: The Clinical Director for the London Violence Reduction Programme and Clinical Director for Violence Reduction NHSE gives an insight into the cause and effect of serious violence amongst young people

SOURCE:

Martin Griffiths CBE, Consultant Trauma and Vascular Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust, and Clinical Director for the London Violence Reduction Programme and Clinical Director for Violence Reduction NHSE, gives us an insight into the cause and effect of serious violence amongst young people.

A child arrives on a hospital ward with traumatic injuries inflicted during a knife fight with someone of his own age. He may be brought in on a stretcher, still wearing his school uniform. This is not a fanciful scenario in London, where I grew up and have spent most of my working life. Grouped by age, the greatest number of victims of knife wounds are 16-year olds. The second biggest cohort is 15-year olds.

What responsibility does the NHS have towards this injured child? First of all, of course his injuries must be treated so that he is restored to physical health, which the NHS does brilliantly. The traditional view of the NHS’s responsibilities was to say we are a recovery service for the injured and the ill, and that is it. We patch them up and send them home: the rest is up to the police and social care services.

But a curious person asks what will happen to the boy who is discharged from hospital and sent straight back into the environment where he sustained his injuries? We start at the wrong end, in the wrong place, after the child has been injured. We need to know, and more importantly understand the story that preceded that injury.

No one reading this will be surprised to know that the victims of knife wounds are almost all from poor families, and from groups often denied access to the mechanics of authority. We know many of these people face inequalities and challenges, such as drug addiction, obesity, mental health issues, poor school results and poor employment prospects.

We could talk about the small amount of organised crime, which dominates the headlines, which is a separate issue. Most of what is termed ‘gang culture’ is simply groups of disadvantaged youths banding together to assert themselves. For a young person growing up in an environment with high levels of violence, carrying a knife is a way of saying “I handle my own business. I’m not docile I will not be a victim. Nobody crosses me. If they do, I’m going to deal with it myself.” It’s a way of asserting significance, of taking power.

As a consultant trauma surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, I came to the conclusion years ago that the NHS is brilliant at treating a person’s injuries but terrible at treating the injured person.

It’s an attitude that fails young patients and their families. It’s not socially responsible. It’s not even a money saver. The child who has been in one knife fight, who is sent straight back into the same environment, with nothing having changed in his life except that he has a new scar, is probably going to get involved in another fight. Next time, he may be the perpetrator rather than the victim. It’s very rarely an older person who has injured a teenager, and where that happens, there is usually some other driver involved, such as the drug trade. These injuries, in almost all cases, are inflicted by teenagers on teenagers. Treat one and send him home, and there will be another along soon.

To try to stop this churn, I set up the first wards-based violence reduction service in the Royal London Hospital in 2015 in which we recognise that a person’s injury is a marker of their life story. It’s not about criminality, it’s about understanding that person’s life. To start with, the patient is addressed by name and treated as a person with a back story. We’ve brought community police officers onto the ward, not to investigate a crime, but to make human contact with a teenager who is likely to think that the police are the enemy.

With funding from the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction unit and charities, we introduced the patients to violence reduction specialists, people without medical background but with training as social workers or in related fields. They have the gifts of livedexperience, relatability and emotional intelligence that make them perfect for helping the victims of injury navigate this unfamiliar and scary landscape.

I believe Health and Care Services have a unique role in improving wellbeing and tackling inequalities for people impacted by serious violence. To make this a reality, the NHS London Violence Reduction Programme was set up in 2019 to support clinical teams and to work with experts and those with lived experience to co- create health and care approaches that work for communities.

And, in 2019, I had an email from Simon Stevens’ office, then the Chief Executive of the NHS, asking if I would take the programme nationwide. I was hugely uncertain. I’m a trauma surgeon: I am not professionally qualified as a public health expert, and questioned my credibility in this deeply emotive field. But in Leeds, Manchester, Middlesborough and in rural areas in the south west, many of the drivers are the same as they are in London, although the outputs of that societal failure appear different. More importantly, some of the solutions are applicable to the UK as a whole. So, I agreed, and was appointed the NHS’s first Clinical Director for Violence Reduction.

People question whether violence reduction is part of the business of the NHS. But the NHS is where the victims of that violence are treated. The NHS is the umbrella, not the rain. The question is how do we affect climate change?

Martin P Griffiths CBE

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Mayor invests in positive activities for young people this summer

  • City Hall is funding hundreds of positive activities to support thousands of young Londoners during the holidays and beyond
  • London’s Violence Reduction Unit, the first of its kind in the country, is investing £3m specifically to support communities and provide a mentoring package for young people through this summer and into new school term

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today set out a comprehensive package of measures to support communities by funding hundreds of positive activities and opportunities for young Londoners in the capital this summer.

With fears of a surge in youth violence, as restrictions are lifted across the city and schools break up for the summer holidays, Sadiq is determined to tackle violence and ensure young Londoners continue to be supported with a range of positive opportunities so they can gain confidence, have fun and stay safe.

London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), England’s first and set up by the Mayor, is investing £800,000 to mentor young people in Pupil Referral Units, both during the summer and into the new academic year. A further £1m of funding, through the London Community Response Fund, will deliver a programme of mentoring and support activities for 4,000 young people.

Alongside this, the London VRU has launched the Stronger Futures Programme – a targeted programme aimed at funding community-led groups across London with £1.2m of investment to support vulnerable young Londoners by providing them with opportunities and support in the hours following school and at weekends. The programme will begin next month.

The Mayor is committed to driving down violence in the capital by continuing to be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. This includes supporting more than 300 projects with £70m of funding from City Hall. Overall, this work is creating positive opportunities for more than 110,000 disadvantaged young Londoners.

This summer the Mayor’s investment will provide activities for around 5,000 young people – from dance, theatre and music, to basketball, angling and horse-riding. Londoners can find activities on City Hall’s interactive Our London Map by searching for their borough or by activity. Much of this investment is targeted in the wards at higher risk of violence, and with higher levels of poverty and deprivation.  

The Mayor has worked closely with the Met Police, communities and criminal justice partners to put together a comprehensive plan in place to improve the safety of young people in the capital this summer.  This includes targeted enforcement of violent offenders, combined with support to help divert people away from crime and a programme to provide positive opportunities for young Londoners.

Today, Apple is launching a free summer programme centred around music and radio production for young Londoners lacking in opportunity in communities underrepresented in the industry. Apple Creative Studios London, delivered in partnership with City Hall, aims to enable young Londoners to “unlock their creativity” within their communities. Throughout a four-week period, the full-time programme will offer hands-on experience in professional studio settings and mentorship from renowned artists in the radio and music industries. 

This latest programme builds on the Mayor’s partnership with Apple to help young people gain the skills they need to get the jobs of tomorrow, while also ensuring they have something constructive and safe to do during the summer holidays.2


The Mayor today visited the Dream, Believe, Succeed project, delivered by Edmonton Community Partnership with funding through London’s VRU. The partnership is an alliance of 19 schools, community organisations and local young people. It provides prevention and intervention programmes to children and young people between 10 and 16 who are either at risk or involved in violence.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“I’m determined to tackle violence in London by continuing to be both tough on violent crime and tough on the root causes of violent crime. There will be an increased police presence this summer in the areas of London worst affected by violence, but we know we will never simply be able to arrest our way out of the problem. That’s why, working with communities across our city, we’ve created thousands of new positive opportunities for young people so they have somewhere safe to go this summer, where they can make the most of their talents.

“With lockdown restrictions now lifted and schools breaking up for the holidays, it’s more important than ever that we work together to ensure we don’t see a rise in violence over the summer months. This means supporting our young people, diverting them away from crime and giving them opportunities to thrive. 

“City Hall and London’s Violence Reduction Unit, the first of its kind in the country, is investing in hundreds of programmes – from mentoring and support for families, to sport, music and performing arts. Our city is brimming with opportunities for young Londoners this summer and beyond and I would encourage people to get involved.” 

Lib Peck, Director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said:

“London’s Violence Reduction is committed to putting young people at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is on supporting families and communities to make them more resilient and to provide positive opportunities to help young Londoners build confidence and to thrive.

“We know the importance of role models to young people and that’s why we’re investing in mentoring to provide support both in school, after school and during the summer holidays. I’m also pleased that we have launched a new targeted programme to provide support for young Londoners that are vulnerable to violence with series of opportunities and support in the hours following school and at weekends.

“We firmly believe that violence is preventable and not inevitable, and the VRU will continue to place our focus and investment in working with communities and being a voice and a champion for young people in London.”

Rosemary Watt-Wyness, CEO of London Youth said:

Youth clubs and positive opportunities have never been so vital for young Londoners. Having somewhere they can go this summer, where they feel safe, can learn new skills, in a youth organisation based in their local community, supported by youth workers they know and trust is critical for young people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Our member clubs have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to keep their doors open to the city’s most vulnerable young people whilst operating within the changing guidance, providing support online where face to face activities were not possible. Keeping those supportive relationships ongoing has been a lifeline for so many.”

Trevor Blackman, Lead Partnership Manager for the Edmonton Community Partnership, said: 

“With the funding from London’s Violence Reduction Unit, we’ve created a complete wrap-around service to support young people. Everything is connected. From the parents, the schools, our mentors and community and council partnerships, young people have been provided with much-needed support.

“This isn’t about ‘sitting them down and talking to them’. This is about fun activities that they engage with. It’s about having the opportunity to not fall into violent crime.

“It’s about feeling that you belong and have the support to do what’s right. Only by working in partnership, including leadership from our partnership of 19 schools, can we make this happen. Our Dream Believe and Succeed Project is providing real engagement and real support and creating something that’s really effective during and out of school time, including the summer holidays.”

Thom Palser, Spotlight Service Manager at Poplar HARCA said:

“Thanks to City Hall funding, Spotlight, in Tower Hamlets, will be focussing our free summer programme of activities around self-care and wellbeing following a difficult year for young Londoners. Programmes have been designed to provide young people opportunities to improve their well-being and happiness through acts of self-love and kindness. Sessions include dance, theatre, music, sports and fitness, inspirational talks and meditation as well as offering ongoing youth support, counselling and mentoring in a safe environment.

“Spotlight is also pleased to partner with Apple and Reprezent to deliver the Creative Studios LDN programme, giving young artists the opportunity to write and produce their own track under the guidance of top industry professionals and artists. Plus we will be supporting the artists to release their tracks and perform live on Reprezent radio. To find out more please visit wearespotlight.com.”

Notes to editors

1 You can use the Our London Map to find activities for children and young people in London and can search by postcode, town, borough, and activity.

https://www.london.gov.uk/our-london/#top

2 The programme starts during the school holidays and partners with youth-led radio station Reprezent 107.3FM in Brixton for those aged between 18-24 and Spotlight, a creative arts youth service based in Tower Hamlets, for those aged 16-25. The programme will provide career-building mentorship, access to creative resources and professional industry skills training.

3 The Stronger Futures Programme will enable community-led groups to support vulnerable young Londoners by providing them with opportunities and support in the hours following school, as well as at weekends in some cases. It will invest £1.2m in 20 projects across London. Grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 will be awarded, with an anticipated average size of c.£65,000 to be fully spent by August 2022. This funding is designed specifically for groups and organisations in London which can demonstrate a track record of working with vulnerable young people who are either at risk or have been involved in violence.   Stronger Futures Programme 2021/22 ⋆ rocketsciencelab.co.uk

SOURCE: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-invests-in-activities-for-young-peoplehttps://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/mayor-invests-in-activities-for-young-people

Youth Unity SYV

Mayor reveals driving factors behind violence affecting young people and invests in support for almost 100,000 more young Londoners

  • City Hall publishes its most detailed analysis yet which lays bare the extent of the link between violence and poverty, deprivation and unemployment
  • Latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down, with youth violence, knife crime and gun crime also falling
  • Evidence shows the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of being affected by violence
  • Sadiq sets out his commitment to provide positive opportunities for young Londoners and to give them hope for a brighter future

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced his commitment to support almost 100,000 more young Londoners over the next year, investing in opportunities to help them thrive and to help divert them away from violence.

Today, Sadiq has published new City Hall analysis that reveals the complex factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities that can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting caught up in violence. This includes deep-rooted and ingrained social and economic issues such as poverty, inequality, high unemployment, school exclusions, poor mental health and a lack of youth services.

The new research City Hall released today shows that all 10 of the boroughs with the highest rates of victims of serious violence have higher rates of child poverty than the London average. 

The analysis also shines a light on how violence is having a disproportionate impact on young Black Londoners who are significantly overrepresented, both as victims and offenders. For instance, Black teenage boys are six times more likely to be killed by violence than white boys in London. 

Delivering a major speech at The Black Prince Community Trust in Lambeth, the Mayor will highlight the worrying impact the pandemic has had on young Londoners.

Research has demonstrated the link between high rates of unemployment and levels of violence, and City Hall analysis reveals the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of becoming involved in, or a victim of, violence, by pushing more young Londoners into unemployment and poverty. For example, Universal Credit claims have risen by nearly 130 per cent – with the highest increases in the top five boroughs for rates of serious youth violence.  

London also has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country as the city has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the huge impact on the sectors such as hospitality.

More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019. [2] Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence. [3] This is just one of the reasons that the Mayor was clear that a top priority for his second term in office would be ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ for Londoners. Through the Mayor’s schemes he is offering every Londoner who is unemployed or earning under the London living wage the chance to enrol on a course to retrain and help them find employment.

Reducing violence and making London safer is the Mayor’s number one priority. New analysis from City Hall shows that all types of serious violence experienced by young people have fallen over the last four years. Figures show that violence was falling in London before the pandemic, and over the past year knife crime, youth violence and gun crime have come down further. [1]. The research shows that serious crimes such as knife crime resulting in injury is down 36 per cent and under-25 knife crime has reduced 48 per cent, compared to the peak in the twelve months to December 2017. But the Mayor is clear there is much more to do to stop young lives being lost to senseless violence, and to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

Speaking in south London today about the commitment to redouble efforts to reduce violence as London recovers from the pandemic, Sadiq will set out how he will continue to be both tough on crime and tough on the complex causes of crime.  This means ensuring the police have the resources they need to bear down on criminality, gangs and the drugs market, as well as the importance of investing in positive opportunities for young Londoners to give them hope for the future.

The Mayor set up London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – the first in England – to deliver programmes that support young Londoners through education, training and help into employment. Sadiq will today announce that over the course of the next 12 months, City Hall and the VRU will be delivering a combined package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.

On his pledge to empower and invest in the future of young Londoners the Mayor is expected to say:

“Every death as a result of this needless violence is an utter tragedy. It leaves lives destroyed and families grieving, it tears communities apart, fuels fear and deprives our city of so much talent.   

“The latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down by 39 per cent compared to 2019, and by 31 per cent compared to 2018.  Overall, youth violence has been going down. Knife crime has been going down. And gun crime has been going down.  The level of violence impacting young Londoners remains far too high and we clearly have a long way to go, but it’s important that we acknowledge signs of progress so that we can learn from what’s starting to work and build upon it. 

“My main message today is not one of despair, rather a message of determination that we are redoubling our efforts to reduce violence as we recover from the pandemic.

“A crucial part of the solution is always going to be supporting the police to bear down relentlessly on criminality, which I will continue to do.  But we must be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. Because the truth is we know there’s a complex set of factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities, which can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting involved in violence.  

“The vast majority of young Black Londoners are not involved in violence in any way. But young Black Londoners are significantly more likely to be a victim or a perpetrator of serious violence. That’s because it’s not skin colour that determines your chances of being a victim or an offender, but societal and economic factors, such as the disproportionate rates of poverty, unemployment and school exclusions that affect Black lives.

“When I highlight these conditions associated with violence, I’m not excusing criminality in any way. But any sensible society understands that it’s in our own interest to remove the conditions that allow criminality to thrive. To provide positive opportunities for young Londoners who could otherwise be vulnerable to exploitation. To proactively tackle the structural barriers and racial inequality that Black Londoners face – from housing and poverty to education and the workplace. And to give young Londoners hope for a brighter future. 

“Surely, we must all want young Londoners to feel like they have a stake in society, rather than feeling so hopeless that they’re willing to stake their lives for so little. 

“I’m pleased to announce that next year – over the course of just 12 months – we’ll be stepping up our work with a package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.”  

Notes to editors

The new analysis, published by the Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit, looks at the driving factors behind young people becoming involved in or a victim of violence.

This reveals the link between violence and school exclusions, deprivation and poverty, including areas where people are most likely to struggle to access food. In addition, the research highlights the disproportionate impact violence is having on young Black Londoners.

Understanding the most serious violence among young people in London, Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unithttps://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/serious-youth-violence

Key findings:

  • Young Black Londoners are disproportionately represented amongst the victims of all types of serious violence – they are three times more likely than young White Londoners to be a victim of knife crime, and five times more likely to be a victim of homicide.
  • Rates of offending for the most serious violence, knife crime and homicide were highest for those aged 15-19
  • Under 25s knife crime (non-DA) down 48% compared to its peak in the twelve months to December 2017
  • Total knife crime resulting in injury was 36% lower than the peak recorded in twelve months to November 2017
  • Gun crime was 50% below the peak recorded in twelve months to July 2017
  • Lethal barrelled gun discharges were 52% lower than the peak recorded in the twelve months to December 2018
  • Burglary was 34% below the volume recorded in the peak period of twelve months to October 2019
  • Absence rates from secondary school were also a significant factor in predicting Boroughs with the highest rates of offending relating to serious violence [1]
  • London has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country. More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019. [2] Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence. [3]
  • During the pandemic, Universal Credit claims have increased by 186 per cent in Brent and 177 per cent in Newham – two of the top five boroughs for rates of offending.[4]
  • 54,000 young people aged 16-24 in London claimed unemployed-related benefits in October 2021 – 7.3 per cent of Londoners in that age group, up from 3.8 per cent in March 2020.[5]
  • The number of food parcels given out by the Trussell Trust more than doubled in London in 2020/21 – higher than in any other part of the country. Seven of the boroughs with the largest increase were also in the top 10 for serious violence.[6]

Refences

[1] Understanding the most serious violence among young people in London, Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/serious-youth-violence

[2] ONS Labour Force Survey

[3] ONS Claimant count by sex and age

[4] Department for Work and Pensions most recent data for March-September 2021

[5] ONS Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information

[6] Trussell Trust report: https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/end-year-stats/

SOURCE TAKEN FROM: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/driving-factors-behind-violence-affecting-young-pehttps://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/driving-factors-behind-violence-affecting-young-pe

Youth Unity StopNASk

Stop and Search

Stop and search has been a controversial feature of policing for decades. You might think it was being reduced, in a post-Macpherson, post-Black Lives Matter world, where people have been talking about how to decrease the grossly disproportionate overpolicing of black communities for so long. But shockingly, provisions in the policing bill will widely increase its use and water down the need for suspicion in a number of ways. If it passes, the bill will enable police to stop and search people subject to certain orders at any time without any suspicion; and anyone at all in a certain area, if they believe certain types of protests might take place nearby.

Opinion

I’m a police officer, and I fear increased powers of stop and search will undermine public trust

Andy George

We know that stop and search is overwhelmingly used on one particular group: black people are at least eight times as likely as their white counterparts to be stopped and searched. The constant threat of stop and search makes young black men and boys nervous around the police; it chips away at trust and respect and means the very people who are meant to be viewed as protectors, are viewed as oppressors.

Community engagement needs to be seen as crime prevention and essential to effective policing. Gangs thrive where policing is not legitimate and if we want to protect communities from the minority of people involved in serious violence, we must ensure we have meaningful and long-term community engagement in the most deprived areas. Real crime prevention requires police to work with communities to build trust so that they feel confident in letting us know who is causing most harm. You simply cannot enforce your way out of serious violence.

I know that all too well from my time spent living and policing in Northern Ireland, which witnessed the most violent and protracted conflict to take place in the UK in living memory. I joined as a constable in 1999 and spent 10 years in the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s armed response unit before being promoted to inspector. In 1999, we had about 13,500 police officers, backed up by more than 7,000 military personnel with static checkpoints going into most towns and cities.

I have no doubt the use of stop and search in Northern Ireland saved lives, but despite the heavy footprint and use of powers, the killing still continued until we sat down with those engaged in the violence and put measures in place to deal with the causes of violence. Now, we police a larger population with about 7,000 police officers, and with no military personnel routinely patrolling with us. Despite the progress that has been made, we still have active paramilitaries coercing and exploiting the community; these paramilitaries thrive in areas where trust in the police is low and where communities feel powerless to speak out against them. Individuals will often work with the police if they are treated with courtesy and respect instead of as suspects with no sufficient grounds.

Both the College of Policing and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary have questioned the effectiveness of existing stop-and-search powers in the detection and prevention of crime. Both bodies concluded that the overuse and misuse of the power has clearly undermined public trust and confidence in the police, specifically among Black and Asian communities who are so disproportionately targeted.

These warnings should be heeded. It’s often said that it’s natural for police to want ever more powers. The old adage is it’s for police to ask and the minister to say no. In this case, though, important voices from within policing, and policing oversight bodies, are united in their opposition to the increased use of stop-and-search powers included within the policing bill. The last thing we need is more of what doesn’t target the causes of crime or reduce serious violence.

  • Andy George is president of the National Black Police Association

Source:

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Bexley Council commission Youth Unity to deliver Outreach Work in the borough

Youth Unity will be working in the Bexley area over the next year giving support and reassurance to the local residents.

Our aim is to promote the positive benefits of community participation and social activism and to empower vulnerable young people with practical ways to remove violence from their lives.

Our aim of is to ensure, whether identified through formal (e.g., schools) or informal (e.g. outreach) routes, that when young people need safeguarding against serious youth violence, exploitation and other forms of vulnerability they can find support easily and to be able to trust it.

Central to building trust is ensuring a child’s need is met by the right response from parents and professionals alike so the project uses workshops to ensure they are prepared to identify and respond.

If you would like to know more please get in touch

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Very moving anti knife crime exhibition opens in Barking

Souce:

Yesterday Wednesday 29 September saw the launch of the third Ben Kinsella Trust exhibition. Based in Barking, the exhibition is the largest of the three and explains the tragic and heartbreaking story of Ben Kinsella. It also hosts pictures and stories of other local teenagers who have lost their life to knife crime- Champion Ghanda 17 years old, Duran Kajiama 17 years old and Jody Chesney 17 years old.

Present at the event in Barking was Champion’s mum Peguy who runs All Champions Charity to support other bereaved families. Peguy is a very inspirational lady who has dedicated her life helping other families.

Beatrice Mushiya Duran’s mum was there to give her support to families of knife crime alongside Peter Chesney who was also at the event.

Supported by Barking and Dagenham Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell Leader of the council addressed the large crowd to introduce everyone to the evening’s events.

The Ben Kinsella exhibition aims to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime and help them to make positive choices to stay safe. The workshops follow the journey of both the victim and the offender through a series of unique and immersive experiences to show young people how choices and consequences are linked.

Their workshops change young people’s attitudes to knife crime; debunking the myth that carrying a knife will protect you. They strengthen peer values; ensuring young people give better advice to each other and challenge peers who are carrying (or thinking of carrying) a knife.

They currently have two exhibitions, which are based in Finsbury Library in Islington and in the National Justice Museum in Nottingham.

Ben Kinsella was a 16-year-old boy from Islington who was stabbed to death in a horrific act of senseless violence on 29 June 2008.

Ben had been out at a local pub to celebrate the end of his GCSEs with his friends. On their way home, he and his friends realised they were being followed by three older teenagers. Scared and worried, they decided to run home.

But the older teenagers chased after them. They were seeking revenge for an altercation in the club that had taken place earlier that evening. Ben and his friends had absolutely nothing to do with the altercations, but when the older boys caught up with Ben, in an entirely unprovoked attack, they stabbed him to death.

Also present at yesterday’s launch was DC Anoushka Dunic the East Area Police Gangs Engagement Officer who does fantastic work across East London helping parents and teenagers, PC Michael Wallace from Kick off@3, who does amazing work with teenagers across London, Quinton Green, the very talented spoken word artist who works with many educational organisations helping teenagers and Shirley Jackson the founder of Youth Unity who supports teenagers across east London.

This is a very moving exhibition that highlights the horrors of knife crime and the choices we make and the consequences they provide.

DC Dunic one of yesterday’s tour guides in the Ben Kinsella Room.
Shirley Jackson, Peguy Kato and Quinton Green.
SC Anthony Peltier with Spoken Word Artist Quinton Green.
DC Dunic with Quinton Green.
A Letter written by 16 year old Ben Kinsella to the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown- Ben was killed a few weeks after he wrote this letter.
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Hard Call Saves Lives Campaign

We are all mothers whose sons were stabbed to death.

We know people find it hard to call and report information on knife crime, but when our sons were murdered, we had to make much harder calls.

We’re sharing stories of the sons we lost and the calls we had to make here, in our own words. We want to show what knife crime does to families, and ask people to help save other families from losing their son or daughter.

Support this amazing and sadly much needed campaign

https://www.hardcallssavelives.co.uk/
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Met Police insists London knife crime is ‘not out of control’ despite 13 teenagers stabbed to death this year

A Metropolitan Police commander has insisted London knife crime “is not out of control”, despite 13 teenagers having lost their lives to fatal stabbings so far this year.

Fares Maatou, just 14, is among a worrying number of young men killed on London’s streets in the last five months.

That came just three days before 18-year-old Junior Jah was blasted with a shotgun before being stabbed in the same area of East London on April 26.

However, Commander Alex Murray, the Met’s Violence Lead, believes police are not “fighting a losing battle”when it comes to knife crime and Londoners “should be reassured” with the work officers are undertaking to take knives and firearms off the streets.

Speaking to My London on Tuesday (May 11), he also said that those carrying a knife “are so much more likely to be a victim of a stabbing”.

He added: “We need to understand why people carry knives. We also have a job as police to prevent violence right now. The key role of policing is, at first, to stop the bleeding.

“While we need to understand the causes, right now we need deal with the acute issue of people, often young, carrying knives.The tragedy and irony is that it is a for a feeling of safety.

“The irony is that the data is incredibly strong that if you carry a knife, you are so much more likely to be a victim of a stabbing.

“You can just imagine, if you get into a fight and you’re not carrying a knife, it is going to end in one way, but probably not with someone being stabbed or being stabbed yourself, but if you are carrying a knife it is a totally different picture.

“The other one is the credibility and prestige, unfortunately. That is something we as society, communities and families need to consider around making it not credible to carry a knife.”

Operation Sceptre, which ran from April 26 to May 2, resulted in Met officers seizing more than 400 knives from the street, including machetes, rambo, lock and kitchen knives.

Data obtained by My London via a Freedom of Information request, though, show that there has been a 10-fold rise in the number of incidents recorded by Met Police involving the use of zombie knives.

Anti-knife campaigners have also argued that police are “fighting a losing battle” and deadly knives are simply “too readily available” for young people.

In a bid to tackle the issue at source, officers aged between 18 and 25 have been carrying out test purchase operations to check if retailers are following the correct “Challenge 25” policy, with 71 out of 212 retailers selling the knife without seeing any ID.

Commander Murray say, though, that Met data suggests knife crime is falling in London.

May 10 marked a year since the formation of the Met’s Violence Suppression Units, groups made up of local officers who are solely based in their geographic area with the purpose of being alive to specific issues and building vital relationships. The proactive units identify and target the most serious offenders and tackle the key drivers of violence.

In their year of operation to date, they have seized made a total of 6,031 arrests for violent offences, including robbery GBH and murder.

More than 1,000 weapons have also been seized, including 81 firearms, and £1.5million in cash from criminality confiscated.

He adds: “You have to look at the amount of arrests we have made and the amount of knives recovered, coupled with the data. Data is one thing, and is doesn’t take away from the tragedy of people getting stabbed, but in the last 12 months we have 226 less people under the age of 25 stabbed than in the preceding 12 months – that is a 16 per cent reduction.

“There has been a 28 per cent reduction in overall knife crime compared to the 12 months previously. I don’t think it adds up that we are fighting a losing battle, but anyone getting stabbed is unacceptable.”https://get-latest.convrse.media/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mylondon.news%2Fnews%2Fzone-1-news%2Fmet-police-insists-london-knife-20587837&cre=bottom&cip=28&view=web

Newham residents also told My London they were “scared to go out” and that the issue of knife crime was “constant and getting worse” following two fatal stabbing taking place just three days apart.

His message to such residents is that police will “never rest on our laurels” and violence continued to be “the number one priority” for officers.

Commander Murray rounds off with a simple message to Londoners.

If you do not want to listen to police, at least listen to the five mums who have taken part in the Hard Calls Save Lives campaign

The video shows the parents recalling the harrowing moment they found out their family members had become London’s latest victims of knife crime.

He concludes: “If you’re reading this and don’t know anyone that carries a knife, circulate the video and get people talking about it.”

Source: https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/met-police-insists-london-knife-20587837

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Mobile Intervention Vehicle

Serious Youth Violence – ONE STOP SHOP Pop Up Intervention Van to help tackle knife crime by offering educational workshops, help advice and signposting

The aim of which is to collaborate with statutory organisations delivery a one stop mobile intervention centre. We will act as a central point for delivery of workshops / focus groups and other activities. Pinpointing is particularly effective in coordinating responses from people with varying backgrounds and experiences, in including those who are usually reluctant to participate. The Detached work: young people are sought in the locations on the street where they usually spend their time. It aims to create contact, council, and provide assistance. Working with groups: a variety of groups that are accessible through schools, through single young people and “cliques”. The ‘mobile youth intervention centre’ that can be used be utilised to transport the event equipment for the pop-up workshops, the filming equipment, along with the general day to day running of the business.

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