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Youngsters get ready to reclaim the Stratford Centre a year after death of Beniamin Pieknyi

PUBLISHED: 14:00 26 March 2019

Beniamin Pieknyi was stabbed to death at the Stratford Centre. Picture: MPS

Beniamin Pieknyi was stabbed to death at the Stratford Centre. Picture: MPS

MPS

A march to reclaim a shopping centre and urge business owners to offer young people a safe haven is to take place this week.

The Stratford Centre. Picture: KEN MEARSThe Stratford Centre. Picture: KEN MEARS

The organisers, who expect about 60 young people to turn up, have been working with Newham police to re-launch the CitySafe scheme in the Stratford Centre where businesses become safe spaces for young people.

Almost exactly one year on from the fatal stabbing of Beniamin Pieknyi in the centre, youngsters will hold a minute’s silence.

Alistair Rooms, community organiser with Newham Citizens, said: “CitySafe was a campaign running across London several years ago and helped responsible business owners take action to make their communities safer.

“The scheme is still active in Newham and parts of the capital.

“We’d like to ensure that this relationship with police, businesses and the community is strengthened so that our young people have somewhere to go if they feel threatened.”

Marchers include students from Sarah Bonnell, St Bonaventure’s, Education Links, New Vic, School 21 and Newham Citizens.

They will urge businesses to offer their premises to young people who feel in danger and train staff in first aid should they need to help someone who has been attacked.

The march is on March 28 from 4 to 5.30pm meeting outside the XLP youth charity premises XLP opposite Sports Direct in the Broadway based centre.

In 2008 up to 300 businesses in 18 London boroughs signed up to the CitySafe scheme which began in Lewisham after 16-year-old Jimmy Mizen’s murder in 2008.

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