A Youth Council Crime Summit saw young minds come together to discuss a community led approach to reducing serious violence in Lambeth.
They discussed a radical Youth Services Trust initiative which is being developed in the sprit of Lambeth’s cooperative council approach to delivering services. Hosted by Lambeth Youth Council and the council’s Young & Safe team, more than 150 young people came to the Town Hall on Tuesday to talk about how they can be empowered to shape services through the trust.
During a ‘round table’ session the idea of employing mentors to coach young people at risk of getting involved in crime was discussed, as well as how apprenticeship schemes can be boosted in Lambeth. Young people also talked about the need for better support families who are struggling to parent their children and how these ideas can be promoted through organisations including schools, colleges, the council, and local businesses.
Afterwards young people shared their thoughts with Lambeth Youth Mayor, David Oyedele, Lambeth Council Leader, Cllr Steve Reed, as well as Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Service, Cllr Pete Robbins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Rachel Heywood, Executive Director of Children and Young People’s Service, Debbie Jones, and Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Service, Cllr Ade Aminu. The Youth Crime Summit is part of a series of summits which have brought together more than 40 community groups, police, MPs, Lambeth councillors, and council officers, to debate the problem.
Youth Mayor, David Oyedele, 16, said: “It was really positive to see so many young people attend the summit to share their views on how they can play their part within the local community. I hope to see more young people joining the Youth Council as a result so they can continue to get their voices heard.
“There are already real alternatives out there to gangs and violence and the Youth Council Crime Summit was about helping young people find and unlock these opportunities. There is a lot we can all do but is clear is that the vast majority of young people in Lambeth understand that talking, not violence, is the best way to bring about change. It’s up to us to find a way to get through to the small minority of young people who are involved in serious violence, crime, and gangs.”
Lambeth Council Leader, Cllr Steve Reed, added: “I was delighted to see so many young people who are eager to play their part within the local community and help reduce violence and crime. This was about the council and young people coming together to share ideas on how we can tackle crime together. There is a responsibility on all of us to keep Lambeth safe but it is absolutely vital that we listen to everyone’s voice and take action together.”