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

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

55 minutes ago
Pubs and clubs in London could face having to contribute to the costs of policing and cleaning the streets

Venues which stay open past midnight in Camden may find themselves charged a levy to cover the costs of policing and cleaning the night-time economy.

Christopher Matt

Detectives are hunting a convicted sex attacker who has disappeared while on licence from jail.

Tom Franklin, Camden Green Party

The chairman of Camden’s Green Party branch has denied sitting down in front of a tank on its way to an arms fair.

Theo Seddon-Deane, who has cerebral palsy, with mother Catharine Seddon

Theo Seddon-Deane was born at just 26 weeks, weighing less than a bag of potatoes, and needed a ventilator just to keep him breathing.

Pauline Cafferkey as she was discharged from the Royal Free in January

A Scottish nurse being treated at the Royal Free Hospital for a late complication of the Ebola virus is in a “serious condition”, the team treating her has said.

New Wetherspoon pub opening in Muswell Hill

A controversial Wetherspoon pub is opening next week on Muswell Hill Broadway.

Dr Tomas Lindahl has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Picture: The Francis Crick Institute

A Highgate scientist has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering research on DNA repair in cells.

Royal Free Hospital. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin

A Scottish nurse treated for Ebola has returned to the Royal Free Hospital after developing an “unusual late complication” of the infection.

Most read news

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


Angharad Baa Stool in Rare Breed.

Great British Life is offering a sheepskin footstool worth £199 to a lucky reader

You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder