- Young people, big issues
- A summary report detailing the results of consultation undertaken across eight London boroughs with black, minority ethnic and refugee young people between the ages of 8 - 14 on crime and community safety.
- Greater London Authority
- Jun 2003
The study aims to gain a better understanding of the issues concerning black, minority ethnic and refugee [BMER] young people in relation to crime, crime prevention, community safety and anti-social behaviour in London. The study also aims to play a role in challenging stereotypical perceptions of young people as criminals and to promote their role as agents of change and people in need of support as victims/survivors of crime. Further, the report aims to inform the GLA and statutory agencies of how to approach to these issues by using real-life experiences as illustrations.
520 young people were consulted across eight London boroughs: Brent, Croydon, Enfield, Newham, Redbridge, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lambeth. 35% of the sample were aged ten or under, 65% were aged 11-14, 52% were male and 48% female. 180 one-to-one interviews were held and 340 children took part in focus group discussions. The sampling method aimed to include a wide range of young people: the interviews tried to reach those who may not have attended school sessions or focus groups.
The majority of the young people were concerned about and aware of crime, particularly in relation to personal robbery. Just over 30% of the sample had experienced crime in the 12 months prior to the research, either as victims or as family members of victims. 70% thought they were treated unfairly by the authorities, although many recognised that policing approaches had improved. 80% of the children had experienced bullying although few were inclined to report it, and a similar number had experienced racism in the form of name calling or verbal threats [10% had experienced a physical racist attack]. Many of the children felt that they were not listened to by service providers, community safety practitioners and agencies, and wanted to develop better links with them.
There is a wealth of recommendations proposed by the study, the majority of which aimed at the London BME Cracking Crime Board, including:
• a study on racism and racial attacks should be conducted, looking at how the police, schools and other agencies are responding to these;
• a study investigating the links between youth provision and crime rates;
• the support needs required by young people to assist them in handling racial incidents should be developed by local police, education departments and youth service providers;
• ‘big buddy' support schemes should be developed in schools;
• a London-wide citizenship and community safety model should be developed with the aim of supporting agencies working with young people to develop creative and innovative youth projects;
• Victim Support should consider what types of information can be provided to young people who have been victimised on the support available to them;
• careful consideration should be given to the need for more witness protection and confidential help lines for those involved in the criminal justice system;
• an information drive should be initiated into the rights and responsibilities of young people, about crime prevention, where to report incidents and the various organisations working in the field in various areas of London.
- Resource Type
- Research report