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#StudentTakeover: My investigation into youth crime

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 March 2018

Archant

As a student from City of Westminster College, I have been a member of the Ham&High’s student takeover team this week.

Having seen a number of tragic stories of stabbings in Camden recently, I decided that I would investigate the rise in youth crime in the borough.

To gauge a bit of public opinion on the matter, I decided to speak to people along Finchley Road about the rise in youth crime, but I was surprised at how few people were interested or knowledgeable about youth issues affecting people like me.

This shows that awareness about the youth is not being raised within Camden, which isn’t really a good thing.

Most people should know about the happenings in Camden involving young people, so that they can have their say.

Knife crime isn’t the only concern either.

Drug use is very common in Camden which isn’t only by the youth, but by the adults too.

I believe the drug use has been an issue in Camden for a long time.

According to statistics in 2016, 381 individuals have been arrested for drug related offences. Out of those 381, 65 had no further action taken which I find shocking.

What’s also shocking to me is that violence continues to go on in Camden.

Up to 548 violent crimes were recorded last year, which seems like a very high amount.

What does put me to an extent of relief is that all 548 of those cases were solved, according to the Metropolitan police.

But this doesn’t mean that the crime in Camden will stop does it?

Personally, I think almost everybody should know about the youth in Camden, and any issues concerning them, so that they can have their opinion and even help contribute ideas to improve the life’s of the youth in Camden.

The MPs for Camden shouldn’t be the only people seeking for improvement for the youth of the borough.

Sometimes I feel that the youth in Camden are not really cared about.

As part of my takeover experience, I went along to Camden Town Hall to interview Cllr Angela Mason, a long-serving councillor and campaigner who is involved in the ‘get started in life’ scheme.

I, along with fellow members of the team, Filimon Okbay and Jamal Jadunandan from the College of North West London, spent 40 minutes talking to Cllr Mason about a range of youth issues for our articles in this week’s edition.

Cllr Mason said that crime is the main problem in Camden, especially involving young people.

What she and the council have done is to work closely with younger children to help prevent them from going up the criminal route because she said that at the age of 15 and 16, the teenagers are at the stage where they could get involved with drugs and crime.

She also says there is a lack of police officers and that the police are “on their knees”, this shows that Camden is really in need of more police officers.

After the interview, which took place in one of the committee rooms, Cllr Mason kindly spent more time with us showing us around the mayor of Camden’s office and the council chamber, and even let us take pictures.

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