Search

Youth worker tells Iain Duncan Smith of ‘soul-searching’ after murder of Swiss Cottage man

13:00 26 May 2014

Iain Duncan Smith speaks to Paul Perkins. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Iain Duncan Smith speaks to Paul Perkins. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The chief executive of a Swiss Cottage youth project told cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith about the “soul-searching” the organisation has undergone since the murder of a young person in a gang dispute in 2011.

Milad Golmakani died after being stabbed in Kilburn.Milad Golmakani died after being stabbed in Kilburn.

Mr Duncan Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions in David Cameron’s government, visited The Winch, in Winchester Road, Swiss Cottage, to find out about the work carried out by the project.

During his visit, The Winch’s chief executive Paul Perkins told Mr Duncan Smith about the murder of 22-year-old Milad Golmakani, of Winchester Mews, Swiss Cottage, who was stabbed to death by four teenagers in a tit-for-tat dispute between rival Camden gangs in 2011.

Mr Perkins had worked with one of the convicted killers, now serving a life sentence for Mr Golmakani’s murder, years before the crime, and could tell early on that he was at risk of ending up in prison.

“There was an immediate sense that further down the line he was going to get in trouble so we employed a terrific youth worker who was actually an ex-gang member and gave almost every hour of the day, working with him and his peers,” said Mr Perkins.

“Different people have different views on gangs and groups but they were certainly a high-risk group who had a beef with the group local to Swiss Cottage. They were based more on the east side of the borough.

“It [the murder] really triggered a period of soul-searching where we were saying, ‘We make a promise to have an impact on children and young people’, but we just weren’t convinced that we were doing enough.

“Our activities had really come to reflect local authority funding streams rather than a theory of change that would make a difference.”

Mr Perkins discussed a number of youth projects in Harlem, New York City, USA, that young people and youth workers from The Winch had visited in the wake of the murder as part of a research trip.

Mr Duncan Smith, who described the murder as “terrible”, said he too had visited youth projects in Harlem and could see parallels with the work done at The Winch.

“This is quite similar to what they do, but they do it in the schools,” said Mr Duncan Smith. “They hold them [youth projects] in the schools after school hours and then the parents come along and pick them [the children] up.

“They get their college returnees to come back and put some time back in, to do a lot of work in the evenings as college role models with the kids. It’s brilliant – I was very impressed.”

Mr Duncan Smith was welcomed on the visit earlier this month by Camden Conservatives leader Cllr Claire-Louise Leyland and Cllr Simon Marcus, Tory parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn.

He also met youth worker Andre Kpodomu, from The Winch’s Promise Academy, and young people involved in The Company, an enterprise programme supporting young people to establish businesses.

The former Conservative Party leader spoke about the grants and programmes on offer to young people looking to set up a business or find work through Jobcentre Plus.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

11 minutes ago
Tom Franklin with supporters, including Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry, outside court

Eight campaigners cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest may be dragged back to court after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lodged an appeal.

18:06
Advertising banners on lampposts in Haverstock Hill

Residents in Belsize Park say large estate agents banners which have gone up on lampposts throughout the area are an “ugly” eyesore and should not have been allowed by Camden.

Thames Water have discovered a well under Muswell Hill Broadway

Haringey Council has invited English Heritage to investigate the well’s history

Tulip Siddiq MP and Chris Percy with their newborn daughter Azalea Joy Percy

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq, has said that mums being prevented from breastfeeding in public is “depressing” after a group of women were banned from breastfeeding at the Swiss Cottage Marriott.

Air pollution public meeting at St Stephens
Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air London

A citizen science project has confirmed what Camden residents and environmentalists have long suspected - that we are breathing in dangerous levels of toxins right across the borough, even at the leafy heart of Hampstead Heath.

16:50
Abdul Rahim Sowe had sentence increased to life

A teenager who attacked and robbed a good Samaritan in Belsize Park as she provided directions before going on to bottle and stab a stranger in a Camden off-licence has had his sentence increased to life in prison.

15:06
The aftermath of the crash in Highgate Hill

A car was abandoned in Highgate following a crash in the early hours of yesterday.

Sharon Shoesmith is expected to speak out about her dismissal

A former Haringey social services boss is set to appear on a show discussing ‘demonising individuals’ on BBC Radio 4 tonight

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe