Moving Forward – Engaging our Communities to work together against Knife Crime

WHY? re:generation’s mainline work is sharing Christian faith in Harrow schools through assemblies, clubs and a range of other activities listed on our website. However, with a desire to be more holistic in approach we arranged a consultation with parents particularly in mind, who may have concerns about how the threat of knife crime might affect their children. We did this in partnership with Christ Church Roxeth and The Christian Police Association.

WHEN? A dark blustery evening in February 2020 drew a group of 40 people together to focus on the topic of knife crime and knife related incidents, especially since it is experienced as a daily societal scourge in London. Bombarded by words and images on the media day in day out, this group wanted to take a step back and see how we could move forward together. “Move Forward” became a strapline for our time together and our future potential working together.

WHO? A range of stakeholders from the local community attended: parents, street pastors; local police, especially those who liaise with schools, member of Ignite, local clergy, teachers and youth workers. What was noticeable after a power point presentation by a police inspector, was the interaction between the different bodies present, eagerly engaging with the issues raised and how their different perspectives and experience could be mutually helpful.

WHAT? Issues covered in the presentation included….Why carry a knife? What`s the chance of being caught? How effective is Stop and Search? Where is Harrow in the crime table league? Who is at risk? What to look out for? What can you do as a parent? What is safety advice for children? How might a multi-agency approach work? What can churches do?

WHERE NEXT? With serving the needs of children very much at the centre, we want to set up an evening when we can look at how children engage with social media and what good input from significant adults looks like. How can we encourage all the good in social media, but equally give children the tools to discern and deal with its less good dimensions? Watch this space!