Q&A: My Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 January 2018

Kashif Masood

Kashif Masood, 22, a criminology graduate from Middlesex University, works at Migrants Rights Network and Victim Support to make a difference in the area he grew up by organising charity events.

What’s your connection with the borough?

I was born and raised in Barking and Dagenham and feel a strong connection to the borough.

In 2017 I started to work with Migrants Rights Network, Victim Support as well as the council for voluntary services with Barking and Dagenham.

As a Muslim living in the borough I feel pressured to make a positive change to tackle Islamophobic comments within the area.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

One of the best things about living in the borough is the diverse public we have living within our borough. Diversity is something we should all value and be proud of.

One thing I enjoy is the amount of people who are willing to work on continuing to change our borough for the best.

What one thing would you change?

The crime rates as I and many others do not feel safe in our borough due to the high crime rate.

One way to encourage the public to contribute to a safer borough is to encourage people to report all suspicious activity to the police.

This borough needs to install more CCTV cameras as well as increase the amount of street lighting.

Use three words to describe the area?

Diverse, unsafe and unpredictable.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

Inspiring people I have met in Barking and Dagenham are the migrant leaders from the Outsider Project, Rita Chadha Trustee at Council for Voluntary Services as well as councillor Saima Ashraf.

All these individuals have been nothing but inspiring as they have worked so hard to change our borough for the better.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

As prime minister I would tighten the purchase of both knives as well as acid within London, both knife attacks and acid attacks are becoming increasingly common and are in fact very dangerous.

Acid is becoming more frequently used to commit hate crime offences such as Islamaphobic attacks. It’s time we tighten these laws because too many lives have been ruined or ended due to the lack of attention paid to this subject.

If you were editor, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

Focus on positive news. Barking and Dagenham received a lot of negative news coverage within recent years, for example serial killer Stephen Port and the London Bridge terror arrests. These negative news stories put a stain on our borough and its time we fight back and tackle the negative coverage.

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