Croydon Council’s gangs team (part of the council’s youth offending service) is hosting a Meet The Gangs Team event at Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) on Thursday 20 June from 10.30-1230pm.
The work champions the goals of the council’s Choose Your Future campaign, which seeks to unite Croydon against serious youth violence and help young people make positive choices.
This is the fifth event, organised in collaboration with the CVA, to help voluntary groups and those working with young people understand the reasons why young people join gangs, and the support in place to divert them away from a gang lifestyle.
The team use these events to highlight the support they offer to gang members, as well as sharing nine workshop resources it has produced for voluntary and community groups to use.
The one-hour Every Child Matters workshops look at County Lines, drug dealing, knife crime, robbery, victims of moped enabled crime, sexual bullying, stop and search, homophobia and gangs.
These workshops have been delivered to 650 young people this year, and sessions were delivered to 1,300 in 2018.
The event will promote these workshops, and advise community groups on how they can go about delivering it to groups of young people to divert them away from these particular types of behaviour.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities
“We have made tackling serious youth violence a top priority in Croydon, which is why we are adopting a public health approach to help stop it.
“The Vulnerable Adolescents Review, commissioned by Croydon’s Safeguarding Children Board, highlighted that early help and preventative care, along with a greater recognition of children’s emotional health and wellbeing is key to helping to stop this violence.
“Agencies need to work with communities and families, with schools playing a vital role. It is therefore great to see our gangs team leading the way with its schools and community engagement approach.”
The gangs team also host regular 45 minutes sessions on gang awareness, which are open to professionals working in schools, colleges, and groups working with young people.
The sessions define what a gang is, their activities and the factors that lead young people to join them. They also explain the work of the gangs team, and offers advice on prevention services.
The team also use these meetings to show how it assists entrenched gang members in to education training and employment, as well as challenging their behaviour and safeguarding them.
In the past three years these have been delivered to Torchlight Ministries, the street pastors’ team, Croydon Police, BME Forum, Play Place, and schools and colleges.
The June Meet The Gangs Team event at the CVA can be booked via Eventbrite link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meet-croydon-gangs-team-the-local-context-on-gangs-the-support-and-interventions-on-offer-tickets-58703152710
Or via the website www.cvalive.org.uk