IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Violence in the borough

14 February, 2019

• READERS of the February Camden magazine might have been “heartened” by the article on page 9 (Youth safety fund applications opened).

We are told that, as from February 18, organisations “with new ideas” can come forward for a share of the £500,000 to be made available.

Further money has been given to Red Thread, a highly-regarded organisation which, among other things, works with young people who have been injured in violent attacks.

What it fails to mention is that February 18 2019 is, almost to the day, the anniversary of the horrendous night of fatal violence across the borough on February 20 2018.

It is also some 15 months since the Youth Task Force began its work. In December 2018 alone there were 568 violent and sexual offences across the borough, according to Metropolitan Police Service statistics.

We do not know how many of the 568 involved young persons or how many violent crimes went unreported.

Why the delay, readers may ask and just what new initiatives has Camden Council done to “prevent” young people being involved in crime, violent or otherwise, over the last 12 months?

Last week we had yet another near-fatal stabbing of a young person in the borough and there are reports of the use of firearms in Gospel Oak where the council forced a “new ideas initiative” with younger children to close down at the beginning of September.

As frequently stated by your correspondents, it is no use blaming the lack of policing; the police struggle with limited resources after the violent event.

We need local and borough-wide action plans and prevention initiatives now, not just glossy council reports, publicity-seeking meetings and self-congratulatory articles in the Camden magazine.

Jaw-jaw will not stop the youth war-war out there. We were promised transparency by the new leader of the council back in 2018. Perhaps she and the other authors of the Youth Task Force report would care to comment.

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