Search

Newham College staff educated in gang life by ex-offender

11:00 16 November 2012

Sheldon warns Newham College tutors about gangs with deputy principal Janak Patel.

Sheldon warns Newham College tutors about gangs with deputy principal Janak Patel.

Archant

Staff at Newham College received an education in the secretive world of youth gangs from a former member turned campaigner.

Sheldon Thomas was invited to the East Ham Campus on October 25 to give a presentation to faculty members about how to spot and stop students turning into gang members.

He said: “Teachers are not equipped to deal with it. They need to be trained up.”

Sheldon was a gang member in the 1970s but he broke away to form a faith-based organisation called Gangsline in 2009 - dedicated to eradicating the root causes of youth gangs in Newham and Barking & Dagenham.

Gangsline estimates there are about 350 gang members in Newham, four of which are thought to be leaders, whose main activities are selling drugs, guns, and engaging in violence.

Sheldon said: “In 1976, when I was a gang member, I had a certain what you could call moral ethics. I wouldn’t rape a girl or commit a crime on Sunday.

“Today, they don’t respect women, they shoot mothers and torture people. And it’s not true to say that a gang member will stop the violence if he has a job.”

The Home Office has given Gangsline a grant so teams can visit prisons, hospitals, schools, and work with youth offending teams and religious leaders in east London over the next 12 months.

Latest News Stories

The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales (centre) with Cllrs Obaid Khan, left, and Unmesh Desai, and children from Community Links' after school club in Rokeby Street, Stratford.

The Mayor of Newham has pledged his support to the Newham Recorder and Community Links Christmas Toy Appeal, handing over a donation to some of the youngsters supported by the charity.

Robin
Yesterday, 16:09
Planned engineering work could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Yesterday, 15:39
Egita Galvona has set up a sewing class workshop in Stratford

A clothes-making mum has set up her own sewing workshop to give others the freedom to create their own threads.

Newham College
Yesterday, 12:00
The Scrabble Champions tournament is taking place at the ExCel

For many people, Scrabble is a game that only gets played with the family when you’re full of roast turkey and trimmings.

London

Most read news

Protesters have been warned they are banned from setting up camp at the landmark.

John Cantlie features in the new IS video, in which he talks about a recent failed military attack.

From Britain First’s Facebook posts, you would assume they’d won the Rochester by-election. They didn’t, but they’re claiming it anyway.

At 100 years old, this was Ruby Holt’s first visit to the beach – and the first time she saw the ocean.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition