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

Yesterday, 17:50
Stratford High Street

Company-owners and traders are hoping the improvement of night-time safety around Stratford High Street through the upcoming Business Improvement District (BID) will mean a boom in visitors to the area.

Yesterday, 16:53
Mohommod and Hamza Nawaz

Two brothers from Stratford have today become the first people in the country to be jailed for terrorist offences after returning from Syria.

Yesterday, 14:44
The D8 bus is being re-routed through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

It’s going to be a lot easier to get to some of the park’s venues as Transport for London have re-routed a bus.

Elizabeth Olympic
Yesterday, 12:00
The real-life Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort spoke at the ExCel Arena on Friday, November 21.

It should be all too easy to dislike Jordan Belfort.

Most read news

Up to 3,000 people took to the streets of London in vigils for Mike Brown which turned into a protest march down Oxford Street.

The NHS have introduced a new pill for those who struggle to screw the lid back on that bottle of wine.

Today the doctor has received an eight-year sentence for a string of offences.

Digital Edition

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