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Young people meet to tackle youth crime

CONFERENCE: Young people discuss the issues at the event

A CONFERENCE aimed at encouraging young people to devise their own solutions to youth crime and anti-social behaviour brought together almost 300 people to discuss the issues.

The goal of the Street Life 2: The Journey Begins’ youth conference, hosted on Tuesday (Apr 8) by Community Links’ Street Life project, was to encourage young people to explore the issues of guns, gangs and knife crime and come up with their own solutions.

Participants discussed how the police, anti-crime services and young people can work better together, and the valuable role of youth workers in discouraging young people from crime.

Geraldine Blake, Community Links CEO said: “We all listened hard to the solutions and suggestions for change that came from young people and Community Links will be ensuring that these are shared with police, policymakers and local agencies.”

The conference was led by a steering group of young people from youth clubs and projects across the borough of Newham who are training to become mentors. It was funded by the CVC Foundation and a personal donor.

Judy Marsden, director of philanthropy at CVC, said: “It’s fantastic to see such widespread willingness from young people to do something about this vital issue.

“The CVC Foundation is delighted to support the Street Life programme and this event which will help spread the word in the community’’.

A range of artistic performances were presented by the young people, and a panel discussion was held with guests.

Panelists included a member of Newham Metropolitan Police Service, Whitney Iles from the 507 Project, Marsden, and Blake, alongside local social workers and anti-crime activists.

Iles added: “It’s important for youth workers to lead by example and be authentic. Don’t be afraid of failing, it’s an essential part of success.”

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