Search

‘Newham youth services have been cut at time when knife crime is rising’ says charity chief

PUBLISHED: 07:01 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:42 12 January 2018

A charity chief has said young people in Newham have lost the support of vital services to help steer them away from crime. Picture: PA/Katie Collins

A charity chief has said young people in Newham have lost the support of vital services to help steer them away from crime. Picture: PA/Katie Collins

PA Wire/PA Images

A youth charity founder has said grassroots intervention in Newham has been cut leaving young people without the support to steer away from gangs and crime at a time when youth stabbings are rising.

Kevin Jenkins founded the charity Ambition Achieve Aspire to provide opportunities for young people in Newham. Picture: Kevin Jenkins Kevin Jenkins founded the charity Ambition Achieve Aspire to provide opportunities for young people in Newham. Picture: Kevin Jenkins

Kevin Jenkins, OBE, founded Ambition Aspire Achieve (AAA), because of a longstanding desire to provide opportunities for the young people in Newham, and runs Ark in the Park in Canning Town.

He says crucial services have been stripped out of the borough in recent years - at a time when youth knife attacks are on the rise.

“We fear a lot of the grassroots stuff has gone over the last five years,” he said. “Youth clubs, church clubs, sports clubs, a lot of that has gone because of cuts.

“At the same time thresholds have risen, so it’s harder for young people with issues and problems to get the help they need.

“Our concern is there is an increase in crime, at the same time there is a reduction in facilities and opportunities available.”

Knife attacks on under 25s in Newham have soared by 21 per cent in the last year and by 59 per cent compared to five years ago, according to data from the Mayor of London’s Office for Policing and Crime.

The charity holds workshops to encourage young people to open up about the issues relating to knives.

Mr Jenkins said some young people believe Newham has not seen the benefits of the 2012 Olympic Games.

“I think there’s a feeling that since the Olympics house prices have gone up too fast to get accommodation, and that has happened in parallel with a lot of the stuff young people used to go to closing down,” he said.

“I think there is a general feeling that the Olympics didn’t produce all that it wanted to do, which is a shame.”

Mr Jenkins called for investment in youth work to help tackle rising knife attacks in Newham, and for sanctions for carrying and using knives to be brought inline with gun crime.

“The only way you’re going to eradicate knife crime is through a community approach,” he said.

“It’s got to be all the agencies working together - police, councils, business - reducing access, reducing the risk, and enforcement. No one agency can solve this, it’s got to be a community issue.”

Related articles

Latest Newham Stories

The 19-year-old has improved his consistency under Justin Edinburgh, but doesn’t bear a grudge against ex-O’s boss Steve Davis

Josh Koroma
14:00

Near neighbours have provided five players of 16-man squad between them

17:52

A man who bludgeoned his victim to death in an “alarming, sudden attack” in Upton Park has been found guilty of manslaughter.

London hospital
13:00

Coaches from Newham-based school to hold training camp for orphans in country

12:00

Teenager made mistake in build-up to second Gunners goal

16:32

Maryland residents have heaped praise on a community figure who tends a communal garden, cleans the streets and delivers free newspapers through the letterboxes of his neighbours.

Maryland

The O’s boss expressed his frustration with the 1-0 loss, but provided positive news on the future of teenagers Myles Judd and Josh Koroma

Myles Judd
14:57

The National Health Service is calling for people to put forward the names of Windrush generation NHS workers for awards celebrating their contributions to the UK.

United Kingdom

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now