Newham College staff educated in gang life by ex-offender
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.
You may also want to watch:
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.”
- 1 Violent gang stuff sock in elderly woman's mouth and steal her jewellery
- 2 Covid vaccination hub opening in Westfield next week
- 3 Tributes to Newham cop who died after positive Covid-19 test
- 4 Council rents offices to ambulance service to save money
- 5 Police release image after teenager stabbed in Forest Gate robbery
- 6 NHS nurse assaulted at east London hospital
- 7 What a load of old rubbish: Fly-tippers keep charity staff out of building
- 8 One in 20 may have had Covid-19 last week in Redbridge, Newham and Barking and Dagenham, figures suggest
- 9 Police appeal for help after woman raped in Beckton
- 10 Arrests after girl, 16, falls onto tracks at King George V DLR
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.