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Borough comes together to discuss how to deal with knife crime as a community

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 October 2019

Local activist Shanea Kerry was one of the speakers at the meeting. Picture: Sameer Naeem

Local activist Shanea Kerry was one of the speakers at the meeting. Picture: Sameer Naeem

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A Newham woman who lost her cousin to knife crime fears the community has become "desensitised" to young people dying on borough streets.

Hayley Mulenda held the event as part of her project This is Newham: Tackling Knife Crime. Picture: Sameer NaeemHayley Mulenda held the event as part of her project This is Newham: Tackling Knife Crime. Picture: Sameer Naeem

International speaker and author Hayley Mulenda highlighted the growing problem of knife crime and youth violence in Newham at a community meeting she held at town hall.

Ms Mulenda, who was born and raised in the borough, said: "We have become so desensitised to the fact that there are young people dying on our streets.

"We have lost way too many young people and now it's time we come together as a community to see what we can do to let these young people know they have a future in Newham.

"No mother should be burying their young child due to crime that can easily be prevented."

The meeting was part of her project with councillor Nareser Osei called This is Newham: Tackling Knife Crime.

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More than 150 people - including residents, councillors and Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz - attended the event, which discussed "tangible solutions" for dealing with knife crime as a community.

It featured several speakers including local activist Shanea Kerry, Kyria Tshoma-Tshoma, Ohemaa Addae-Kodua and Yannick Buditu.

Cllr Osei said: "We have a responsibility to encourage our people to work alongside each other to improve the lives of our young people.

"There is a huge wealth of talent in Newham.

"I was encouraged by the participation and determination of our young residents and look forward to the work ahead."

The next meeting is expected to be held in January 2020.

Email thisisnewham@gmail.com to get involved or find out more.

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