Search

Cycle mechanics project set up by teenagers aims to tackle Camden gang crime

PUBLISHED: 10:05 30 April 2014 | UPDATED: 10:05 30 April 2014

From left to right: Marj Abedin, Amir Miah, Parvas Ali, Emran Miah and Rahel Miah. Picture: Polly Hancock.

From left to right: Marj Abedin, Amir Miah, Parvas Ali, Emran Miah and Rahel Miah. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

A youth project aimed at reducing gang crime in Camden by training young people to become cycle mechanics is offering bike services at a new pop-up shop.

Evolution Cycle Co, set up by a group of teenagers in 2009, opened the shop at Camden Collective in Camden High Street, Camden Town, on Monday last week and hopes to find a permanent base in the near future.

The shop, which is open every day except Sunday, offered a free bike check-up to anyone who visited in the first week and also sells a range of second-hand bikes and pedal-powered smoothies.

The company’s two apprentices, Jay Rashid, 23, and Emran Miah, 20, are working at the shop as part of their training to gain an industry-recognised qualification for bike mechanics.

Parvaz Ali, 19, one of the founding directors, said: “At the moment, we are training up two young people full-time. One of them has just come out of prison and the other one has been out of employment or education for two years.

“Jay went to prison for a few charges. Now he’s come out he has a child and he’s trying to change his life around, so we gave him this opportunity.

“Emran left secondary school and went on to do an apprenticeship in carpentry. The teaching provided wasn’t very good, the tutor had to be replaced, so he got fed up and left. After that, he was looking for jobs, but nothing had come up, so we approached him.”

Mr Ali, a former Regent High School pupil, set up the firm in 2009 with teenage friends Amir Miah, Marj Abedin, Rak Islam and Rahel Miah, running bike-repair classes at the Surma Centre in Regent’s Park for young people living on nearby estates and giving away bikes donated by police.

“We get the young people to fix the bikes and then we sell them on,” said Mr Ali.

In 2012, the company received a £27,000 social enterprise grant from Camden Council, enabling it to employ the apprentices and pay them the London Living Wage.

“I grew up in Camden and there’s a lot of crime,” said Mr Ali. “I used to see a lot of people at the community centre who started to mix with the wrong groups and got involved in gangs and crime.

“With this recession, it’s just so hard now to get a job. There aren’t many opportunities, so for many people crime is a way to get by.

“We want to reduce gang crime in Camden. We want young people to see that there are opportunities for them. If you get qualifications, there are opportunities.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Fri, 16:24

A man who started his first business at the age of 14 and who has dedicated his life to entrepreneurialism is hoping to turn Holborn and St Pancras blue.

Fri, 15:01

The introduction of plans to relocate a 110-year-old library to a nearby arts centre has been met with resistance by users.

Fri, 14:48

A tax on salt, scrapping Trident and adding a penny to income tax were three solutions to the social care crisis put forward in a general election hustings yesterday.

Fri, 08:00

Villagey Hampstead and Highgate are among the most desirable places in the country to live - but these five maps reveal stark differences in social inequality throughout the borough of Camden.

Thu, 19:16

Police have released an image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a sexual assault.

Thu, 17:34

Naturists are campaigning this summer to be able to enjoy the Heath and will be carrying out informal polls to gauge public opinion.

Thu, 16:51

An army of schoolchildren, staff and parents have raised £2,000 by taking part in a sponsored walk around Highgate Woods.

Thu, 16:14

A philanthropist and former refugee has urged the next government to ensure the safe passage of thousands more children, as he shared a stage with two Syrian refugees.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Often one of the most daunting parts of going through a divorce or separation is knowing what steps to take first and how to deal with financial issues which arise. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now