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Youth Safety Week: Camden young people come together to voice security concerns and solutions

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:08 20 February 2020

The winners of the Shout Out debate from Fitzrovia Youth in Action. Photo: Justin Thomas

The winners of the Shout Out debate from Fitzrovia Youth in Action. Photo: Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas

Camden youth stood up and told council figures how their safety can be improved last Friday (February 13).

A team making their pitch for free music studio time to improve youth safety. Photo: Justin ThomasA team making their pitch for free music studio time to improve youth safety. Photo: Justin Thomas

The annual Shout Out debate, part of Camden Council's first Youth Safety Week, saw six groups pitch their ideas to 100 young people on how to improve security in the area.

The winning presentation was made by Fitzrovia Youth in Action, who spoke about improving opportunities for young people to avoid falling into gangs to make money.

Camden's outgoing Youth MP, Athian Akec, said: "Thank you to the young people who stood up with their ideas for how to solve youth violence.

"We can and will solve this problem. This event has given me renewed hope for the future."

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Youth Safety Week combined a series of performances and workshops for the borough's young people and their families, looking at how Camden's youth services and community groups can be brought together.

It kicked off with a market place event and a separate Question Time style session where attendees had the opportunity to ask questions around youth safety to a panel which included Vauxhall MP Florence Eshalomi, Camden youth offending service peer advocate Fabio Dovalle, and Cllr Abdul Hai, Camden's cabinet member for young people and cohesion.

Superintendent Ben Clark, of Camden & Islington Police, and Reverend Jon March, vicar of St Luke's Kentish Town, were also on the panel.

Dr Richard Grove, team lead for community initiative Project 10/10, said: "The importance of Youth Safety Week is about coming together as a community and recognising the role we all have in ensuring young people have safe places to be and to thrive.

"Professionals and services are making a commitment to provide safe spaces and safe opportunities for young people - as well as attuned, considered, youth-led support that allows them to make the most of these."

Cllr Abdul Hai said: "Boroughs across the capital are experiencing the devastating effects of youth violence and it's our priority in Camden to ensure every young person feels safe and lives a life away from crime.

"By hosting the borough's first ever Youth Safety Week, we can directly reach out to communities to see what support they may need and find real solutions to the problems we face alongside Camden's youth services, the police, community groups and schools."

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