Agenda item

PRESENTATION FROM BROMLEY YOUTH COUNCIL

Minutes:

Danie Gordon attended with members of Bromley Youth Council, who presented on their latest campaign. Attending from BYC were Emily Warnham, Katie Bacon, Seejay Brown, Jacob Eyers, Ruth Freema and Katie-Rose Plaxton.

 

As a result of the Manifesto Event in 2017, it was decided to campaign and facilitate positive change for young people in Bromley on the following issues: 

 

Primary Area: Young People’s Sexuality & Identity.

 

Secondary Campaign Area: Youth Crime & Gang Culture.

 

On the evening of the PDS meeting, BYC presented on the secondary campaign area, which was youth crime and gang culture.

 

Young people identified Youth Crime and Gang Culture as a secondary campaign area at the BYC Manifesto Event 2017.  Particular areas of concern for young people included:

 

·  Young people discussed issues about the lack of awareness and education around joining gangs and becoming involved in criminal activities; carrying weapons and engaging in inappropriate relationships.

 

·  Young people recognised there was gang activity in Bromley and wanted to explore how Bromley had become an emerging gang borough. They also wanted to explore the data concerning the number of young people involved in gangs and in the criminal justice system.

 

·  Young people were interested in how schools, Safeguarding Officers, the Police, the Youth Offending Service and local services came together to share intelligence on vulnerable young people joining gangs or gang activity and also the prevention work that was undertaken.

 

As part of the research BYC undertook the following activities:

 

·  Conducted an online survey of youth crime and gang culture and met with the ATLAS team, a new specialist team in the Borough set up to tackle missing youths; gangs and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

 

·  Met with Betty McDonald, Head of Youth Support and Youth Offending Services. BYC were able to discuss the role of the Youth Offending Service and challenge the gaps existing between services working together and sharing appropriate information.

 

·  Met with Sarah Armstrong from ‘Say No to Knives’, a local campaigner.

 

·  Participated in several workshops on Gang education to widen knowledge and understanding of youth gangs. Researched and began designing posters to raise awareness amongst young people to deter them from joining a gang and highlight CSE within the gang culture.

 

BYC was keen to make the campaign hard-hitting and practical as well as directly influencing young people in the Borough.

 

The idea was to facilitate a conference where young people would be invited to attend; young people would be made aware of statistics and information with the aim of deterring them from lives of crime and gangs.

 

The funding for this campaign came from the Youth Offending Service (YOS), The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the Bromley Youth Support Programme (BYSP). BYC learnt that the Bromley Borough was active in tackling the issue of crime and gang culture.

 

Additionally, BYC learnt that young people’s perception of crime and gang culture was dependent on where they lived and went to school in the Borough.

 

Eighty two percent of young people who took the survey thought that there were gangs in their area; however only 45% of young people were concerned about gang crime in their locality.

 

Fifty Four percent of the young people said they had not received any education about gangs and gang crime. Sixteen per cent of young people said the biggest reason young people became involved with gangs was due to peer pressure, followed by 9% who said it was to make money.

 

BYC planned to continue promoting the online survey, and would continue to plan the crime and gang culture conference. BYC would also continue working with designers to produce the posters highlighting CSE and crime and gang culture.

 

The Committee noted that the gang culture conference was scheduled for July 2018.

 

The Chairman thanked Danie Gordon and the BYC young people for their excellent presentation. 

 

 

 

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