Newham teen one of three to work on Met Police project tackling knife crime

Aspiring Newham politician

Aspiring politician Ishrat - pictured second from the right - together with fellow mentor Farheen and members of the Met Police. - Credit: The Girls’ Network

An inspirational teenager from Newham is working tirelessly to address knife crime in her community.

Ishrat Hussain is currently involved in a six-month pilot project with the Met Police looking at issues such as stop and search, gang violence, online crime and social inequality. 

The 18-year-old is one of just three selected to take part by The Girls' Network, a national mentoring charity that works with young women aged 14-19. 

Ishrat joined the network as a Year 11 student at Stratford's Sarah Bonnell Comprehensive School, and credits the charity with opening "so many doors".

"I would never have had the confidence or drive to put myself forward for both the Met Police campaign and university if it hadn’t have been for my mentor.

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"I am so grateful for all the opportunities The Girls’ Network has given me," said Ishrat.

As well as being involved in the Met pilot project, the 18-year-old has also secured a place to study international politics at the University of Exeter. 

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The pilot project tasks each girl with addressing a different knife-related issue within their community, with Ishrat's campaign focused on bringing down the number of stop and search checks carried out on black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Of her campaign, she said: "I don’t feel like people from disadvantaged communities like mine get enough support and guidance and I want to play my part in changing that." 

The Girls' Network specifically wishes to showcase Ishrat's achievements on and around October 11 - International Day of the Girl Child.

Created by the United Nations in 2012, this day aims to raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by girls on a daily basis.

The Girls’ Network's chief executive, Charly Young, believes today is for celebrating "girls like Ishrat" whose story serves to "highlight the importance of empowering, nurturing, guiding and supporting young women". 

Charly said: "Ishrat is just one example of the thousands of young women that we’ve helped since The Girls’ Network was founded in 2013."

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