April - May 2019
Like me, I’m sure all readers will have been saddened and concerned by the recent spate of tragic incidents in the capital involving serious violence, resulting in the deaths in the first few months of this year of 18 young people, at the time of writing. The current situation is heart-breaking; as a parent, Londoner and Haringey resident, I understand and share the public outcry about the ongoing violence and how it’s affecting our young people.
Residents have a right to ask what action their council is taking to address the problem. Haringey Council is working tirelessly with the public, the police, and other parts of the public sector to find ways to stem the violence and to stop our young people from becoming victims.
Cuts by successive governments are holding young people back in Haringey. Eight years ago, cuts to youth services were one of the first victims of austerity. In recent years, it has been cuts in police numbers. The importance and significance of investing in outreach services for young people, directly and locally delivered, was always clear to me and we have prioritised reversing this cut in our 2019-20 budget. London’s Mayor has committed additional funding to put more police officers on to our streets.
However, we do not believe that it is possible for the police simply to arrest their way out of this situation. That is why the council recently agreed a Young People at Risk Strategy, a four-year multi-agency plan taking the public health approach to reducing serious youth violence, following extensive consultation with local young people and the council’s partner organisations. We are putting our young people and their experiences at the centre of our plans.
With the help of a £1.5million grant from the Mayor of London’s Young Londoners Fund, we have also launched Haringey Community Gold, a three-year scheme to support young people at risk of exclusion and crime. It includes the Exodus project, a 12-week programme for 12 to 21-year olds with a focus on keeping them safe from gangs and violent crime. We are already hearing really positive feedback, and the programme is gaining positive coverage in the media. Amidst all the challenges that we’re currently experiencing, I believe that it is more important than ever to highlight the great work going on in our communities.
Together, we have a responsibility to tackle this issue firmly. One life lost on our streets is one life too many. As leader of the council, I am committed to doing all that I can to help build a better partnership between the police and the community, and to engage proactively with Haringey’s young people so that we can properly address the impact of serious youth violence and challenge its underlying causes.
Leader, Haringey Council
- Read the latest edition of Haringey People
Councillor Ejiofor's ward surgery and contact details are shown on his councillor web page.
Previous Leader's Columns
- Leaders Column - February-March 2019 (PDF, 31KB)
- Leaders Column - October-November 2018 (PDF, 31KB)
- Leaders Column - August-September 2018 (PDF, 55KB)
- Leaders Column - June-July 2018 (PDF, 29KB)