Campaign to steer Barking and Dagenham youngsters away from knife crime
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A new campaign aims to educate and empower young people in Barking and Dagenham about the dangers of knife crime.
Independent charity Crimestoppers’ youth service Fearless.org will run targeted social media ads and work with secondary schools as part of the campaign, which is funded by the council.
Knife attacks involving people under 25 in Barking and Dagenham have increased by 178 per cent in five years - one of the sharpest rises in London.
In recent weeks, the borough has seen violent crime involving young people such as the stabbing of a 16 year-old boy in Hulse Avenue, Barking on March 12.
The charity will engage young people through interactive workshops to spread the Fearless message and help them better understand the consequences of crime and criminal activity.
Senior outreach worker Kenya Lamb, who will lead the workshops, said: “With a background in advocacy and scrutiny work, I am extremely passionate about youth justice and continuing to support young people to understand the consequences of knife crime.
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“I know that as a young person, there’s growing reluctance to report crime or go to the police, so Fearless is here to debunk those fears and highlight how they do have options when reporting crime.”
The charity guarantees complete anonymity to young people who pass on what they know about crime via the Fearless.org website.
Fearless is also working with partners, including safer schools officers and youth practitioners, to build on the work of the council’s Lost Hours campaign aimed at tackling youth violence and anti-social behaviour.
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Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “Knife crime amongst young people is something that we simply can’t shy away from as it is happening on our doorstep.
“In the last few weeks, three school-aged children have been stabbed in Barking and Dagenham.
“Fearless offer a great service for young people to provide details of crimes anonymously and I’m glad to see they’re working with us to address this knife crime in the borough.”
Visit Fearless.org to learn more, find resources for young people and anonymously report information about crimes.