On Friday 30th of July a debate took place between local youths and police officers in Dagenham in a bid to start positive communications between the two groups
During a meeting in May, local youths expressed their concerns about their trust in the police. A meeting was subsequently organised by All Champion’s Charity and The Havering Daily to bring the two groups together and establish positive links between the groups.
The result was Friday’s meeting was extremely positive with both sides openly talking about their concerns and the problems that arise. The youth had the opportunity to open up and share their views on the police and the reasons why they had certain issues with them and police officers from East Area and New Scotland Yard were able to give them open and clear responses about the challenges they face policing London today.
The discussion was brilliantly hosted by Quinton Milise, a spoken word artist who dedicates his time working with our youth in schools across east London and country wide.
Courtney Barrett from Binning Knives Saves Lives was also present to help build positive links between the two groups.
Police Sergeant and Deputy Chair of The Met Black Police Association Chris Excell spoke very openly about his challenges, his role and work as a police officer. He was able to relate to the youth and engage with them very positively to share some of the difficulties the Met face and listen to the youth about their concerns. He engaged very well with the teenagers who equally opened up to him about their reasons for not trusting the police.
East Area Gangs Engagement Officer Anoushka Dunic chatted to the youth, sharing her knowledge with them to help them understand more on gang culture.
Inspector Zed Asghar from Redbridge also spoke to our youth sharing with them the problems local police officers face and listening to the teenagers about their concerns.
The evening proved to be a very positive meeting, with the youth openly sharing their concerns and police officers being able to address them.
Peggy Kato who runs All Champions Charity was delighted with the outcome and told the Havering Daily:
“It was a very productive evening with all positives coming from it. Well done to everyone involved who took time out to come here and participate.
“This is the right way forward for our community.”