British Pakistani Christian Association volunteer Hannah Chowdhry led a youth panel at the Serious About Youth Crime summit held at City Gates in Ilford on Saturday 15th June 2019. Hannah was joined by a number of local youths who were impacted on by the increase of knife and drug crime in Redbridge.
During the meeting one of the young panellists described the difficulties many young people face in our unequal society, he said:
“If you mother cannot afford to put electricity on the meter, you take matters into your own hands and often school becomes a hindrance to survival rather than an opportunity for progress.”
Panellists agreed that poverty was one of the reasons that many young people are getting trapped into county lines drug gangs, which not only has increased recreational use of drugs but has also resulted in an upsurge in knife crime across the country.
Hannah referred to her work with Essex Youth Council and spoke of a project that will see an educational video produced by members who felt it was the single most important issue facing young people today, because of the increase in crimes of this nature and the devastation they cause.
Hannah Chowdhry, said:
“Though it will not impact directly on us, in modern society most young people will know someone who has been attacked in a knife crime, a friend of a victim or their family members.
“It is still only a small proportion of people that resort to such violence but the tragic consequences of such crime affects us all, whether it is mourning a loss, the need for increased policing and its cost, or simply being scared of being alone at night or travelling in parts of our local area.
“There are no winners in knife crime and more must be done to lead those who may be caught up in such violence away from this awful social malaise.
Hannah has previously shared recommendations from a survey she undertook with the Mayor of London, PM Theresa May and leaders of Redbridge and Essex Council.
Her father Wilson Chowdhry spoke on behalf of the East Ilford Betterment Partnership and organised a panel that included Bob Littlewood, Redbridge Cabinet Member for Crime, Safety and Community Cohesion, Pak Christian rapper Faisal Gill formerly from Ilford whose cousin was stabbed to death in North London in 2017, Local Met Police and David Anglin who for ten years has been running 4TY a group that uses music and media to steer young people away from crime.