Young people take up battle against crime and violence in Newham

Young people in Newham are remarkably taking up the challenge of reducing youth crime and violence in their own community.

Students from two Newham schools joined forces to urge local businesses to set up a scheme to make communities safer. The youngsters from Little Ilford and St Winefride’s schools canvassed retailers and other businesses on Church Street and Browning Road in Manor Park to join the CitySafe Haven scheme.

The scheme is part of CitySafe, a campaign by London Citizens, which aims to make local communities safer. At its heart is the voice of young people who want to be part of the solution to the problem of youth crime and violence. It recognises that local businesses can play an important part in by working in partnership with local schools, faith institutions and Safer Neighbourhood Teams to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

Shops that join the scheme commit to reporting 100 per cent crime and anti-social behaviour, building relationships with neighbouring stores, being a good neighbour by not selling knives, alcohol or cigarettes to under-age children and offering their premises as a place of refuge to a young person in danger.

There are five CitySafe Zones planned for Newham in the next twelve months in Manor Park, Stratford, Forest Gate, Canning Town, and Plaistow.

Paul Underwood, Head Teacher at St. Winefride’s said: “I am delighted that the pupils, parents and staff of St Winefride’s are involved in the City Safe project. As part of our community it is very important for us to work together and to make a positive contribution. It is also vital for the children to know that they have a ‘voice’ and can really make a difference.”