How Can We Challenge Gun & Knife Crime In Our Communities?

Other | Wednesday 3rd October 2018 | Osh

How Can We Challenge Gang (gun / knife) Crime In Our Communities was a cutting edge panel discussion with Nana from ACCESS UK, Davis Williams from Manhood Academy & Love Is A Verb, Dean Okai from RoadCEO/Solution Room, Denise Parnell from The Feltham Community Chaplaincy Trust, Dexter Simms from Mula Cake Foundation, Charlotte Bawden from The Princess Trust. Finally, Ismael Lea South of The Salam Project who was the Chair and host. 
This event was a focused based discussion involving possible solutions and the promotion of collaborative inter-community work. All the panelists were on point and concise in their delivery. Attendees were members of society in positions to have a positive influence on those most likely to get involved in gang crime including teachers, youth workers, parents, carers, probation staff, community workers, social entrepreneurs and members of youth offender rehabilitation teams. 
The solutions discussed were mentoring, increasing the public recognition that our youths need healing, consortiums of grassroots organisations to tap into young people’s inner aspirations and potential, and more businesses to give proper work experience and decent job opportunities for our young people. 
Dean Okai and Dexter Simms were staunchly advocating promoting Entrepreneurship as an alternative to drug dealing. The experiences they shared made complete sense to all the audience. Denise Parnell, the chief executive of The Feltham Community Chaplaincy Trust was sharing alarming statistics including, 43% of young people released from prison or young offending institutions will return back through the criminal justice system within 8 months to a year. She shared the alarming statistics of most of the inmates being prosecuted due to drug dealing ambitions and the serious growing issues of mental health. 

Charlotte Bawden from the Prince’s Trust thoroughly explained the numerous programmes and services for young people aged between the ages of 14 and 30 years old. She encouraged more grassroots community organisations to work in partnership with The Prince’s Trust. Davis Williams from Manhood Academy shared various case studies of his award winning work and encouraged a more holistic approach standpoint. When he spoke he made the panel discussion less formal and more of an open forum which calmed the mood. 
Brother Nana from ACCESS UK shared valuable knowledge pre employment training for many young people and the necessity for grassroots organisations to have a cultural awareness in youth engagement. Surprisingly, Nana explained the importance of strategic political engagement but community block voting so the politicians are answerable to their voters. He also emphasised the essential need to recruit historians as well as therapeutic counsellors for practical intervention strategies. 
Ismael Lea South thanked the distinguished panel and Faiths Forum For London for paying for the hall hire. He was worked off his feet in managing the Q&A which was extra lively and vibrant. 
This was an independently funded initiative and gathering. Resulting from this gathering, all the grassroots organisations in attendance agreed to work more closely in networking and collaborative ventures in challenging gang (gun and knife) crime in our communities.