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Met hosts multi-faith community event to help tackle crime

COMMUNITIES AGAINST CRIME: Deputy mayor for policing and crime Sophie Linden addressed attendees

WOMEN FROM across London's multi-faith communities came together today to help tackle key crime issues.

The Met-led event “Girls Allowed” brought together over 400 people from various multi-faith communities. The aim of the initiative is to inspire under-represented women from within these communities to help tackle crime issues across London.

The event, held in Westminster, emphasised to the audience the importance of their contributions to society, as well as providing them with the necessary support mechanisms to help them drive forward the messages and partnerships needed to tackle knife and hate crime.

Assistant commissioner Helen Ball, who gave the final address said: "Londoners have a fine track record in challenging hate crime together. We draw strength and great power from these relationships."

Assistant commissioner Patricia Gallan open the event and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden will be addressing the audience.

Ex-gang member Raheel Butt was invited to speak at the event and explain his teenage years were marred by violence. He has since turned his life around and now mentors other young people to do the same through his organisation, Community & Rehabilitation Solutions.

Key speakers also included former Met officer Leroy Logan and grand master in Taekwondo Ewan Briscoe.

Throughout the day, participants were encouraged to take selfies, while holding a written pledge stating what they will be taking forward for the legacy of “Girls Allowed”.

Attendees were also shown a stop and search presentation from the Met's Taskforce, a hate crime presentation from the Roads and Transport Policing Command, a hate crime film produced by students from Middlesex College, Words within Walls poetry by Jamal Khan and watch a knife crime film produced by students from Leyton College.

The event forms part of ongoing outreach work with young women, aimed at tackling domestic abuse, hate and knife crime and other concerns within multicultural communities. Organisers hoped the event would create a positive environment in which those attending would feel confident to report crime and even consider the Met as a future employer.

Sophie Linden, deputy mayor for policing and crime, said: "We are determined to do everything in our power to tackle all forms of crime, but it's crucial we understand it's not just the police's responsibility - we all have a role to play. It's important that we empower women and girls and that the police use events like this to reach out to each and every community to work more closely with them, demonstrate the work officers are doing to keep us all safer, and to also show why reporting crime is so important."

Entertainment from musicians including Inspire and Dionne also formed part of the day’s proceedings. Charity partners, including TellMAMA, Beauty Banks and Social Farms and Gardens were on hand to offer advice to the guests.

Deputy commissioner Craig Mackey said: "Tackling serious violence and knife crime in London remains a number one priority for the Met, but Londoners need to pull together to tackle this issue. We need to find out why some young people think it is acceptable to carry knives, and this is where community organisations and local initiatives, charities, schools and educators, youth workers and families all have an important role to play in changing this mindset."

See more on the event by searching the hashtags #GirlsAllowed and #Safe4Faith on Twitter

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