Enfield Council has unveiled a £100,000 package of measures designed to tackle a big increase in the level of youth violence in the borough in recent months.
Planned activities will include football, boxing, horticulture and cookery sessions but will also give youth workers an increased opportunity to do more work with young people to reinforce positive messages and behaviour.
Latest figures showed a 17 per cent increase in youth violence in the borough for the 12 months to May 2018, and there are fears that as the school holidays start that figure may rise further.
In response, Enfield Council, which funds 16 Safer Neighbourhood officers to patrol the borough’s housing estates and manages more than 800 CCTV cameras to keep residents safe, has developed a package of activities to engage vulnerable young people in positive activities during the summer holidays.
It is also organising a community meeting on 28 July where the Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, Cllr Nneka Keazor, will outline the measures the borough is taking to tackle the issue. The event will take place at Community House in Fore Street, Edmonton, at 10am and will feature speeches from politicians, youth workers, police officers and members of the public.
Cllr Caliskan has also written to the Metropolitan Police asking for extra officers to be deployed on the streets during the summer holidays.
The majority of the sessions will be open to all young people. In addition professionals from schools, the Youth Offending Unit, the Council’s Youth Development Unit and the Schools Behaviour Support Teams, the borough’s Pupil Referral Units and the Gangs Partnership Group have been asked to nominate young people who would benefit most from the Council funded sessions over the summer holidays.
Cllr Nneka Keazor said: “We are determined to do everything we can to give our younger residents every opportunity to make the right decisions and follow the right path.
"This initiative is about giving young people in our borough hope, raising aspirations and also building confidence amongst all our residents that the Council is being proactive and committed to tackling youth violence.”
Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “The increase in violent crime is a real problem in this borough and many of our residents are deeply concerned. The Council is committed to playing our part in helping to tackle the problem.
"We are putting our money into programmes ahead of the school holidays and taking decisive action to deal with this issue.
“We know that to effectively reduce crime and disorder among young people we need a multi-agency approach. Part of the solution is to encourage young people in our borough to participate in activities that keep them motivated and engaged”.
“Our police do a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances. The problem is there are not enough of them to go around.
"We’ve lost a considerable number of police officers in Enfield over recent years. That is why the Council will continue to lobby for an increased police presence, especially over these summer holidays because we understand that residents need to feel safer."