Haringey schoolchildren face fear and crime every day
PUBLISHED: 12:39 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:49 07 September 2010
Robyn Rosen MORE than a third of schoolchildren in the borough have been bullied at school and are terrified of travelling on public transport, a new study as revealed. And 40 per cent of young people in Haringey who were questioned say crime is their big
MORE than a third of schoolchildren in the borough have been bullied at school and are terrified of travelling on public transport, a new study as revealed.
And 40 per cent of young people in Haringey who were questioned say crime is their biggest fear.
The government study, compiled by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, asked students in Years 6, 8 and 10 how they rate local authorities for providing services for young people.
More than half said they felt improving safety would make Haringey a better place to live, with 36 per cent highlighting public transport as a major source of concern, 10 per cent higher than the national average.
A total of 39 per cent said they have been bullied at school and 20 per cent bullied somewhere else.
Ellen Barber, a 16-year-old pupil from Hornsey School for Girls said the survey is an accurate reflection of the challenges that young people face.
"My 13-year-old brother has been mugged twice, once at a bus stop, and he's really wary now," she said. "I think younger children are more nervous because they seem more of a target."
David Hearn, deputy headteacher at Greig City Academy in Hornsey, said: "The fear of crime is a major issue for students who are all very aware of the dangers of being teenagers in London today. From a child's point of view the key points are that they need to know that if they report it, something will get done quickly.
"I feel that there is some development work that can be done with them in terms of their behaviour, minimising the risks and secreting valuables. Perhaps the council and police could work together on this kind of programme."
Cllr Gail Engert, Lib Dem spokeswoman for schools, said: "These figures are very concerning. What is clear is that children in Haringey do not feel safe - they worry about crime above all other things, over a third have been bullied at school and they feel unsafe travelling to school and on public transport.
"We cannot have a generation of young people in Haringey anxious that they could be the next victim.
"It is clear that crime is top of their agenda and the council and government need to ensure is it their priority too."
But Cllr Nilgun Canver, Haringey's safer communities boss, said that the council had introduced many initiatives to make schoolchildren feel safer.
"We want young people to be safe and feel safe which is why providing them with support is a top priority," she said.
"All inner city boroughs face similar challenges.
"We are working with the police safer transport teams to help young people feel safer on school journeys, our safer schools projects have involved young people in discussions and policy making and we have extensive links to young people's forums.
"We have school programmes working on anger management and, with the police, are targeting resources at known offenders for intensive work with our youth offending team.