Positive Community Response to the Croydon Riots

Positive Community Response to the Croydon Riots

POSITIVE RESPONSE TO THE CROYDON RIOTS

In response to the Croydon riots and to counteract the negative perception of young people in Croydon, an event, Action for Impact, is being held on 02 February at Crystal Palace Football Stadium to showcase the diverse range of activities and support available to young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Action for Impact will also focus on the creative work many young people get involved in through community based activities tailored to enhance young people’s professional and personal development.

Following the recent riots, research into Metropolitan Police Service statistics show that while only 0.07% of young people commit serious violent crime [Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) 2011], this is in stark contrast to recent research findings relating to perceptions of young people and violence.

The 99% campaign, run by the IARS, reported that 44% of the 1000 adults who were asked in a 2010 poll: “How many young people do you think commit serious youth violence” answered between 5%-20%. 25% of those asked thought that over 50% of young people commit serious youth violence (IARS 2010).

The summer riots did little to build local employers’ confidence in employing young people. According to Business & Education London South (BELS), a local youth charity, many young people in Croydon who did not get involved in the riots and who positively engage in services to help them into work, education or training are being tarnished by the negative public perception of young people.

“Most of the young people with whom we work have expressed their disapproval of the riots.” says BELS’ Chief Executive, Michael Manning-Prior. “In fact, their main concern is to secure their futures through getting a foothold on gainful employment.”

Manning-Prior continues: “The aftermath of the riots has seen a general negativity towards young people and BELS wants to counter this by highlighting the enthusiasm with which the young people of Croydon embrace the support services provided to help them.”

Action for Impact is organised by BELS, together with young Croydon people and with the sponsors, Crystal Palace Football Club, who fully support and contribute to youth development in Croydon. Youth service providers such as Croydon Youth Development Trust, Positive Arts and The Crystal Palace Education Centre, supported by local young people, will give attendees the opportunity to have practical experience of film, music, sport, communication and art activities.

Action for Impact takes place on 02 February at 2.00pm in The Players’ Lounge, Crystal Palace Football Stadium. The event is open to all those interested in or working with young people aged 16-19 and each attendee is encouraged to bring along three young people to share in the enjoyment.