Start time 2020-02-25 10:00
Finished Time 2020-02-25 01:00


Leader of Croydon Council – Hamida Ali  – Talked about various organisations that have brought their experience, knowledge and  success in helping our Croydon youngsters achieve. However, loss of life is not acceptable, and we are here as a joint venture to see how we can eliminate as much as possible. Let’s collaborate and collectively find a way to help as much as we can and put in place a clear proposal that all agree and can support.

Leading from the Front – Schools & Colleges

CEO & Principal, Croydon College – Caireen Mitchell  – Talked about how the college and the various teams in place to help students feel safe and able to talk about issues they may face.  Client Care Team – setting is to build relationships with students, first people to get intelligence from students if anything is happening. 8 people work that would also do sweeps of the building and security and first Aiders. Safeguarding and Well Being Team – 10 people covering 2600 students and ensuring that all within the campus are looking after all, raising awareness of Knife crime, arrange speakers to come in and talk about the impact and issues with knife crime. Palace for Life – come and do sports and Metropolitan Police, come in and help and support the college and students.  Gangs Team, identify who is doing what and on radar to watch and support who needs it. Impact when a decision to exclude a young person, as incidents occurs is hard not just for the college, but family and friends and the wider community. We never are aware what has happened in school, before they come to college and we need to find ways to ensure we engage together.

Head teacher St Marys – Patrick Shields –Looking at a different perspective as a journey over the last 8 years as the head teacher. It is important to acknowledge journey and success we have had already. We can never measure what doesn’t happen and prevent people from going into we have saved, or stopped someone from going into serious youth violence or crime.  We have engaged with partners, such as Education directorate, social care teams, where we have benefited hugely level of support from the council departments.  We have our own Police team who come regularly, on site and in the playground, engaging and chatting with the students, this engagement has made a big impact on the trust for the Police and also children not causing issues during lunchtimes outside the school in West Croydon. Having the Police on site regularly has helped our children understand the role of the Police and since they have been in place we have not expelled anyone from the school. Mayors fund and Londoners fund has helped with the intervention in years 7/8. Third level sectors, offering service support and advice – who do we choose, who is guided or trust, how do we know who is suitable and following the regularity laws etc. This is so visible and we schools need to have a list of organisations that all agree benefit the school, children and relevant authorities. Finally St Mary’s is a caring school by Ofstead.

Head teacher Norbury High School – Markiew Hayden   – lived and worked in the borough. Engage with all schools, however our issue with the girls increase desensitisation of violence. How girls know someone who has knowledge of someone in a gang or close friend. In turn using this to further bully harm or cause issues for the victim.  We get a lot of information from the girls of what is going on before it is published. Trauma before and generational theory training, shopping and local community and know who we are and able to work with us.  Sexual harassment is rife and our safer schools team are out there protecting our girls. In our community real distrust with the Police, we need help to dissolve this quickly and how the Police can help to move forward. Have used various organisations, only via word of mouth, and no complete list identifying who we should trust and contact according to an issue or incident we are faced with. As a parent, I have no trust in the Police, as my son has been Stop and Searched for no reason.

Founder Oasis Academy – Steve Chalke  – We have an opportunity that has come about and working together with the council is the project of Zaian Youth Centre in Ashburton Park approved in such short notice. He advised that Timpson Review in Education back in 2019 came out advising if you are excluded from main stream education you are more likely to end up criminalised – 87% can end up in jail of that.  Excluded has other names such as management move and so forth.  As a former youth worker, and since this review came out they advised the government that you must keep children in school and not to exclude them. We need to have a Standards and Kite Marked processes for mentoring these children who are suddenly in the wrong place with the wrong company making wrong decisions.

There is a group writing an White Education paper, especially the part of alternative provision for children, have asked me to think about this and put some suggestions and input to it. Resource and budget has been drastically reduced, and making it difficult for schools and head teachers to get the help and support they need. Government would like have and around the country in order to keep children in school everybody has to work together.  We now have the opportunity to come together is develop a service, should have the expertise to support the colleges and schools.  This will hopefully in turn stop children from being managed move and get the support before it extends to the next level.

The Community Offers:

Early Intervention – JFJ foundation Tilisha Goupal and Denise  –Setup after losing her brother Jermaine 15 years old in 2017, due to knife crime 2 streets away from home, and died on the spot, due to multiple stab wounds.  Visited a primary school, and talk about knife crime awareness. Explained Jermaine’s story, the impact of carrying a knife and not just on the victim, friends, family and the community. Working in partnership with Palace for Life and Metropolitan Police, helping to educate children in years 5 and 6 in primary schools and also making them aware of the consequences. Early intervention is a must for children to understand it is not safe and does not do any good to anyone least yourself carrying a knife on the streets or school. Providing aftercare as well as young minds  can be affected and read 2 emails after their visit to a school, where the child reiterated the story to the parents and how they felt about it.

Engaging Parents – Walkwithme UK- Angeek–  Parent guidance service to support the parent through non violence approach.  Set up due to own experience, to get a SAFE space and be aware of what is needed and how to get the support and who to turn to. The parent are at their wits end and cannot fathom why and how all this happened, not realising the signs and how to approach and deal with it all. Build relationships and connect with their children within their own homes.

Torchlight – Reverend Alison Johnson – Working with parents at grassroots level supporting guiding and ensuring that all are aware of the situation and what support can be given and provided to help them. Opportunity to visit Connecticut as Educational Consultant, to a secondary school. This school I attended was placed in room that looked more like a store room, and wondered why. It had messy and had textiles in one corner, broken computers, one corner bits n pieces etc.  They advised this is family learning room where parents come with their children to learn skills and interact together. This hit me and thought why this not happening in the UK. Parents forums – coffee mornings etc are great but we need to do the next step engage parents with children on their learning school life and decisions on what is good for them to help them progress.  This is even more so that we collaborate with parents and ensure that they understand the needs and support to help their children come back on the right track.  Happy to help any school, struggling and does not have a PTA or coffee mornings at present.

Engaging Young People Finesse forever – James & Toby  – aim is to maintain engage and mentor young people. They are usually school age years 10 and 11, or just left school, making contact with them from within school is the best option to focus on their needs. Project Future Leaders Programme is a 12 week course to develop them even further after completing the initial course.  6 students spoke about life in the music industry and that it is not just singing, but a whole lot more. Attended City Hall meeting helping them understand their views and bring it forward to government.

Mentoring & Positive Activities  P4YE – Project 4 Youth Empowerment who support young people and families, trying to lead them to bright futures. Ethos is, ‘Empower & Engage’, and we use our skill sets and experience to speak to our young people in a way that they find relatable. We have built many positive relationships with the professional services to bridge the gap between them and the communities that we serve. We provide 1:1 and Group Mentoring, Advocacy, Parental Support, and a range of services to help to try and foster a better tomorrow for our community. Have a Saturday club and take students on a yearly trip giving them confidence and able to feel free to enjoy life outside their area.  

Palace for Life-SteveWe support schools colleges clubs and also organisations. We are funded by Premier League as well as the club, and help with mentoring and also go into primary schools and the opportunity for children to change their lives for better use.  Selhurst Park, and brand new academy in Beckenham able to run whole load of courses in both areas.  Primary schools run competitions, tournaments both girls and boys.  Workshops like Black Lives and Environmental Stability – Getting involved with Asian and Muslim community. Wild Cats girls’ football is rapidly growing and helping our girls into this sport.  Legacy for young people who died from Knife crime, tournament in March for years 10 and 11 boys.

Role of the POLICE:                    

Met Superintendant – Andy Brittain – Imran Asghar – Priority is Enforcement and last year was not a good year. This year focus is on following areas: a) How to build trust in children, b) How to engage in schools and power and support them to saying NO to carrying knives and NO to connecting with gangs  and learn from schooling. c) School officers attending secondary schools, finding it difficult to understand whether their presence and engagement is helping. Through recent engagement with My Ends have learnt the POWER of CONVERSATION is imperative in order to make the difference, and taught is the power of humility. Attended Primary schools and the outcome was amazing and enjoyable, it’s more a prevention and building trust and understanding with the Police.

Schools officers –Alistair, 20 priority schools plus pupil referral units. List is reviewed regularly, if cannot have school officers the safer neighbourhood team would attend.  A presentation is being reviewed it and now awaiting schools to view it and how we can present it. 1 inspector 2 sergeants 16 officers at present. We have a shortfall of 4 making the 20 required, and working towards this. The officers spend 2 days in a school and go from there, both the primary and secondary.

Youth Engagement team- John – project has come about from My ends 6 week multi agency package to deliver in Primary and Secondary schools with various organisations working together, and some of them you have already heard from today. The package will deliver in the following topics: Serious Youth Violence / Mental Health and Counselling.  Project has already had 2 consultation events, and we are now looking to fine tune. Funding has been approved for the Proof of Concept for 2 primary and 2 secondary schools in the borough.  Going forward, once it’s in place and the feedback we get we hope to get further funding and support more schools.     Concern is that people come and present and then leave with no review of what has been presented and how it has impacted. This is not so, we will build recovery and review and ensure that continuous support it there and available for the school and children.

Croydon Council

Cabinet Member Environmental – Business Recovery – Voluntary Sector and Safety of the borough – Cllr Manju Shahul-Hameed – Strategy partners helping with moving the council forward.  Key facts 5th largest borough and in 2020 increased 11% violent offences due to domestic abuse during covid. In relation to serious youth violence was ranked 2nd and 12th in per 1000 residence, which is huge and data provided to us and need to work and tackle some of these issues. Strategy partners, Safer Croydon partners, Public Health partners, and in January 2022 the  Community Safety Strategy collaborative approach. Making sure local authority working with all partners, looking at violence women and girls and identify issues they have been experiencing during the late evenings and weekends.  Retailing fined for selling knives to young children and youth. London Southbank University has come to providing courses and apprenticeships and recent council initiative on 100 apprenticeships in a 100 days. Mayor has given a budget for Green project fund which, London Southbank University, is leading on this and hopefully help Croydon. Identify that the Afro Caribbean Race matters pledge called George Floyd pledge to support and help these people affected.

Cllr – Alisa Flemming – Jigsaw in the heart is the village, families, communities; outsourcing teams and schools link up together with council and others. Journey of a child, through social care, how we work on early intervention. The steps taken to support the family, children their needs and academics and special educational needs.  Reaching out to parents, families to get children back into education. Treat each person as an individual and their needs rather than generalise.

Cllr – Shelly Davies- Connecting with our community and partnerships with police and organisations makes a big difference. 94,000 youth under 18’s in our borough.  Key role is keeping young children safe, Safeguarding being the heart of our decisions and Diverse and appreciate and recognise the great skills and expertise of the young children. On a serious note it’s the relationship with schools, being a big borough we have 26 secondary schools and 88 primary schools have 6 special schools and referral units and 3 colleges.   Working with the whole family and schools community is one of the values working together in Croydon.  Signposting is important to evaluate what and which service is right for which school and ensuring they are quality assured.   Exclusion data rate is lower than national.