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City Hall matters: Sport is a way to integrate community

PUBLISHED: 15:23 11 December 2018

Archant

I recently attended the launch event of the Players Project by West Ham United at the London Stadium.

This will be of great benefit to residents in Newham and across East London, with £10m to be invested directly in community projects over a three-year period.

I hope to work closely with the project as its work develops on some the issues I cover on a day to day basis at City Hall, including tackling knife crime and modern slavery.

To stay on a sporting theme, I met with Newham Cricket Club and representatives of the Shepherd Neame Essex League, which they aspire to join. Sadly, their recent application was unsuccessful.

However, as was outlined at its recent AGM, the club continues to go from strength to strength and has begun to concentrate on developing areas such as women’s cricket.

Local sports teams can act as catalysts for community involvement and integration. Newham Cricket Club are a true pillar of their community and I urge readers with a passion for the game to support their work or get involved.

Turning now to policing matters and the disgraceful treatment of members of the Windrush generation has perhaps been the most widely reported symptom of the Government’s inhumane ‘Hostile Environment’ policy.

I recently highlighted another shocking consequence of their actions in my ‘Victims of Crime and Immigration Status’ report.

Currently, the Met Police is obliged to pass on information about victims of crime to the Home Office, if officers suspect that they do not have the right to reside in the UK.

As a result, those without a secure immigration status are often deterred from reporting crime for fear of being deported. This plays directly into the hands of organised criminal gangs and traffickers, who by implication are enabled to get away with their horrendous crimes with impunity.

I have and will continue to campaign for the Home Office to put an end to this callous and misguided policy. My report and the Police and Crime Committee’s Annual Report are available on the London Assembly website.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas, a peaceful festive season and best wishes for 2019!

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