Friday, 13 June 2008

Young London - Manifesto

Posted by Tahirah

On Wednesday 11th June, BBC London 94.9FM (In the Capital, or online to the rest of the country) broadcast their drive-time live from their East London dwelling, Richmix on Bethnal Green Road.
Taking over the cafeteria, Eddie and Kath hosted an open forum, consisting of about 60 people - a diverse group of people; 80% under the age of 25, from all walks of life - to tackle the issue of youth crime on the streets of London.
I acted as a co-presenter, assisting Kath and Eddie and running about the floor allowing the audience to participate by giving them the mic.
It was a pretty weighty discussion, and we heard from people affected in a multitude of ways by what's happening on the streets of Ldn. From a parent who'd lost a son, to ex-offenders, to social workers, Sean Bailey (aka "the Tory guy" as everyone called him), young people had been mugged or attacked, and young people who were working the community. Basically, everyone was there seeking change.
The show was heavy - very real, and discussions got VERY heated. I can't summerise what happened without you hearing it yourself, so if you're in England, listen back online - you have a week to do so. BBC London's Young London Debate - Drive Time Takeover.
The most important thing to come out of the debate, is the document being comprised. Because as we all know, its all well and good to talk about things happening, but's meaningless if we're not going to be pro-active in stopping another senseless killing on road.
So BBC London are using their clout to put together a manifesto based off of the discussion from the show, and, from suggestions to the listeners and audience. It will be presented to the mayor's office, and believe, with the biggest media outlet in the UK handing it over, it will have to at least get acknowledged. So I'm urging you to go onto the website and post comments - suggestions and solutions for change, so they can be added to the manifesto.
So far we have:

- Provisions for those excluded from school
- More investment in & promotion of Youth clubs
- More police involvement with young people
- Encourage and build self esteem
- Tackle issues at a younger age
- Government needs to spend more money on young people doing positive things in the community
- We need strong male positive role models
- More subsidy for things that are already available
- Extend watershed to 11pm **
- Lower the age of criminal responsibility **
- Parents should be involved in the process if their children are arrested
- In education, encourage people to do things that they enjoy, not just the national curriculum
- Get offenders to face up to what they've done
- More police in and around schools
- Find God - family values
- Special in school mentoring for young people with problems
- Improving empathy skills - Introduce more schemes that get offenders to face up to what they have done by meeting their victims or families of victims.
- The media needs to stop demonising young people
- Four year investment programme not just in more youth clubs but in facilities that are already available
- Offenders to give workshops (get them into schools)
- Use older pupils to mentor younger ones
- Mayoral scheme that promotes and rewards youngster performing positive tasks within their community

I personally don't agree with ALL the points up there, in fact, I've asterisk'd the ones that I don't, but the majority of the suggestions were very useful. We just need more people to add to them.
So, go on the Young Londoner's Debate page. NOW DAMMIT!

I didn't take any pictures - I didn't have time coz I was working, but I did get a great new bedtime T-shirt!

Lets not mention the fact that this picture makes my locs look my shiny brown worms, eh?