Community TV Trust won funding from The Peckham Settlement to run “LET’S TALK”, a project on knife crime, in early 2019. The programme of discussion forums for young people to speak at has now concluded. Work on production of a documentary film and two performance films to tour Southwark and south London has begun. These will certainly stimulate thought and debate and inspire other young people.
Here is a short film introducing the Southwark world of knife crime as registered by its young people across the LET’S TALK Forums:
The 2019 series of Discussion Forums started at Surrey Square Primary School in January to listen to young people aged ten or eleven; moved to Bermondsey’s Bede Youth Adventure Project in early February to hear from 13 year olds, and in late February met 16 year old students at Harris Academy Peckham in central Southwark. LET’S TALK returned to HAP for the fifth and final Forum in early July.
The key ingredient throughout was the Panel of professionals invited by Community TV Trust to attend the Forums and listen to how young people described their world. The Panel convened in March to deliberate over what they had heard and consider what actions to take.
Panel members at the final Forum comprised a Deputy Director of Policy and the Ministry of Justice, a QC who sits as a Judge, a youth pastor, a Stop & Search consultant, a music teacher and an academic, with Chris Haydon, Director of Community TV Trust as chair. All spoke about their ideas and actions:
1 bereaved parents of a recent Harris pupil were enabled to meet the Prime Minister as a direct result of two panel members speaking together;
2 an academic studying the policing of Southwark suggested a controversial idea* – no longer using the Police to combat knife crime … but all other agencies instead should get involved, namely parents schools youth services and so on;
3 Stop & Search required both parties to learn to be more respectful of each other, Police officers as much as young people;
4 Educating Parents was requested by Harris students and CTVT has agreed to host a website and YouTube channel with students driving content generation. CTVT will seek funding for this expansion of LET’S TALK;
5 Young people were urged to communicate more with the Police;
6 All were urged to provide care for victims, and this included families of perpetrators as well as of the victims. One Panel member spoke of her personal loss through a knife crime and her sorrow contemplating the convicted killer’s family who effectively lost their son too, as he will spend the next twenty five years in prison.
Community TV Trust wishes to thank its partners for this successful first year of discussion forums: they are Surrey Square Primary School, Bede Youth Adventure Project, Harris Academy Peckham. Each partner played host to one of the series of Forums.
*CTVT will publish this proposal in full as soon as possible.