Recorder letters: Violence Reduction Unit, autism awards, Learning Zone for diabetics and available funding

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 October 2018

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, pictured with Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, has come under fire over 999 call response times. Picture: PA IMAGES

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, pictured with Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, has come under fire over 999 call response times. Picture: PA IMAGES

PA Archive/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Violence is a public health issue

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member for City & East, writes:

I welcome plans for a new Violence Reduction Unit at City Hall, particularly as we’ve seen something of this kind have real results in Glasgow.

This is a positive step forward which builds upon the stringent action the Mayor of London has already taken to clamp down on violent crime and increase the help available to the most vulnerable young Londoners.

We need to tackle the many complex causes of violent crime, such as poverty and social alienation.

A public health approach, in which we bring together specialists in health, the police, and local government will, gradually, help us to do just that.

There is no escaping the fact that the government’s ruthless and sustained austerity measures have contributed to a rise in crime, whether through their closure of vital youth services across London or their deep cuts to the Met Police budget.

With the rising levels of inequality that blight and fragment our communities, the mayor is right to concede that this fresh approach will see positive results over time, but it will not change things overnight.

It is clear that the government now need to put ideology aside and work productively with Mayor Khan to prevent more tragedies from taking place on our streets.

• Have you been a victim of serious crime and do you think enough is being done to tackle rising levels of violent crime? Email with your views.

Have you made a real difference?

Carol Povey, director, National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, writes:

The National Autistic Society is looking for people and organisations who’ve done something amazing for autistic children, adults, or their families.

Perhaps it’s a teacher who has helped a child achieve something great, an autistic adult who has been campaigning tirelessly or a business that has put a lot of effort into making their workplace accessible.

If any of your readers know of a person or organisation like this, please nominate them for our seventh annual Autism Professionals Awards. We want to celebrate their achievements, so we can improve understanding of autism and inspire other people and organisations to make a difference too. The nominations close on Friday, October 26, 2018. Find out more about autism and nominate by visiting:

Learning Zone’s diabetes advice

Roz Rosenblatt, London head, Diabetes UK, writes:

Diabetes UK has launched a free and easy-to-use learning tool for people with diabetes. Learning Zone is a new digital platform to help people understand more about their condition and how to manage it.

On average people with diabetes spend just three hours a year with a healthcare professional, and for the rest 8,757 hours they manage their condition alone. Having access to trustworthy information is important, but can be hard to find.

Learning Zone offers clinically accurate advice in plain language, and is constantly updated in line with best practice. Created by healthcare professionals together with people living with diabetes, it combines medical knowledge with the real experience of people with the condition.

Videos, games and everyday tips on a range of topics are tailored to the individual needs of each user, taking into consideration things like what type of diabetes they have and the treatment they’re on.

If you are living with diabetes you can try Learning Zone by visiting

Sustainable water funding

Beverley Taylor, chairman, Community Review Panel, Affinity Water, writes:

I would like to let your readers know that funding from our Affinity Water Community Engagement Programme will soon be coming to a close.

Community groups and charities have until October 29 to apply for funding.

The funding we offer is particularly for projects which support sustainable water use, have a positive environmental impact or help disadvantaged groups in the community. Applications must be for specific projects, not general fundraising and will be reviewed by a team of people from across the company after the closing date.

We are a community-focused organisation serving local people and we want to be involved in projects which benefit the communities we serve, so we would like as many organisations as possible to have the chance to benefit from this programme. We encourage them to visit our website to apply

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