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 News Stories

Monday, December 1, 2014
David Kitchen, chair of SEGA, and Prof. David Ketterer at the Pond St entrance to

It’s a “rather grim” alleyway that serves as a little else but a store for rubbish and recycling.

Yesterday, 16:08
Michael Darvill, sub-postmaster at Highgate Post Office, pictured with the ATM machine that was damaged when thieves tried to blow it open. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Thieves made a brazen bid to blow a cash machine from the wall of a post office by exploding volatile gas canisters to access money inside.

Yesterday, 14:00
Lyn Brown MP

The threat of closure hanging over six Barnet libraries - including Childs Hill and East Finchley - has been raised in Parliament.

Yesterday, 12:32
The MCC flag at Lord's flies at half mast in tribute to the former Middlesex cricketer

The MCC flag at Lord’s cricket ground was lowered this morning in memory of former Middlesex cricketer Phillip Hughes, who died today two days after being struck on the top of the neck by a ball.

Most read news

From Nigel Farage to George Galloway, it’s been a year of people trying to make a change in politics.

If you’ve taken time off to escape from your boss, you’re not alone.

The judge reckons the PC did not have enough wit to invent the story.

There’s been a rise in the number of fresh shop-bought chickens contaminated with the bug since August.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition