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City Hall gives £30k to tackle violent crime in Barking and Dagenham through youth and community projects

PUBLISHED: 15:56 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:56 26 September 2019

The Met's young offender boxing programme is one of the groups in Barking and Dagenham that's won the money from City Hall. Picture: Isabel Infantes.

The Met's young offender boxing programme is one of the groups in Barking and Dagenham that's won the money from City Hall. Picture: Isabel Infantes.

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The council has won more than £30,000 for projects designed to keep young people out of violent crime and anti-social behaviour.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: Andreas GriegerCllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: Andreas Grieger

The pot from the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) is going to five projects, each getting £5,000. The Met's boxing scheme Right Box and the fire brigade's programme for young offenders are among the projects given a share of the money.

Right Box is a 12-week boxing programme that offers young adults tailored training plans, with mentoring sessions that discuss the impacts of crime on communities and aim to reduce levels of reoffending.

"We offer youngsters a chance to not only progress in the ring, but to earn nationally recognised qualifications that can help them in their careers," said Dan O'Sullivan, Right Box coach and secretary.

"Boxing is more than just mindless fighting. It requires discipline, the ability to see the bigger picture, and provides a purpose that can lead to a pathway that takes people away from anti-social behaviour."

Candidates for Right Box can only be accepted by referral from partner organisations. Up to 70 people will have the chance to take part in the scheme.

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Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: "These intervention programmes offer a great opportunity for young people involved, or at risk of being involved, in criminal activity to get the help and support they need to turn their lives around.

"This isn't about rewarding bad behaviour, but about showing these youngsters they can play a part in making their community better and focus their energy in a positive way."

Barking and Dagenham's Safer Neighbourhood Board secured the funding. It's a group of representatives from organisations including Barking and Dagenham Council, the Met Police, and Victim Support.

Neighbourhood Watch groups are also getting a boost.

The push will see hundreds of new signs put up to raise awareness of the groups. It will also help people continue running their groups or setting up new ones.

An interactive performance workshop delivered by Arc Theatre called Stop and Think will work with up to 675 students across the borough to discuss crimes and the impact on communities.

All of the projects funded by Mopac have enough money to run until March 2020.

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