See what the Panel think…

Giving voice to young people on knife crime and related issues is the purpose of LET’S TALK. Visit ‘Our Voices’ for audio files
featuring the young participants in the LET’S TALK Forums.

Our Voices

Giving young people a voice to be heard about knife crime and related issues that effect them.

Listen to our voices

Panel Voices

Listen to some of the debates we have had relating to knife crime and and how it effects the community.

Listen to panel voices

What Panel Members Say About What They Have Heard

Youth clubs?

The value of Bede? Bede’s my family. My second family.


Year 9 member
Bede Youth Adventure Project

HAP student

I listen to drill music but I don’t act that way.

Year 11 Student

HAP student

Maybe we need to know more about how to handle peer pressure in other situations, you know, how to deal with mental things in other situations.

Year 11 Student

Seeing things

I have left my house one day and I’ve seen a shooting, and someone was killed opposite my house.

HAP student

SSQ pupil 2019

“I want to know why isn’t it safe for a child to grow up in Southwark.”

Girl Pupil
Surrey Square Primary school

Need to talk …

It scares me to even talk to anyone. Most of the time I just bottle it.

HAP student

Brandon Estate resident

Last year we had two deaths in our area, and I live right in front of the block … I knew the two boys, I used to play football with them. One of them was stabbed and one was shot. … we should be investing in youth clubs.”

Young Resident
Brandon Estate



The common thread from all the youth interventions was the acknowledgement that the Police have to perform S&S to keep people safe. However the underlying feelings from my perspective were that no age group that participated in the “Let’s Talk” discussions spoke favourably with the experience or the perception of it from their peers.

Most of the girls “knew someone” but the boys of secondary school age had personal knowledge of the encounter and gave negative feedback.

Younger male participants were already aware how S&S affected their older friends/siblings. It was clear to me that the handing down of negative information ahead of an encounter with the Police would change their perception even before it happened to them. This in turn would be likely to affect them when they were stopped, as they will become defensive during the interaction with the Police.

I think it seems that there is a vicious circle of activity that is unlikely to be broken, and the Police will have to find new ways to engage with young people to keep them safe, as this clearly causes an impasse.

It is important to note that young people have Rights during the S&S encounter. There is a misconception that they are under arrest at the time of the Stop which they are not. Knowing how to conduct themselves with confidence in a calm way will mean that the Police can get on with their job and as long as the young person has nothing unlawful on them, they should not be fearful.

When they discussed how they felt about being stopped, the general consensus was that no one really thought about their own attitude and behaviour. It was important to inform them that by showing some maturity, asking reasonable questions about the purpose of the Stop would soon assist everyone to get on with their day. I acknowledged that feeling humiliated in public view was possibly the worst part and only by acting responsibly would this lessen the effects of the procedure.

My advice may be useful to some of the younger audience, but the majority of the teenagers seemed unlikely to be convinced that making the effort to change behaviour would result in a better perception of the Police in a S&S capacity.


Donna Wallace - Feedback April 2019:

Deputy Youth Work Manager, Bede YAP

Surrey Square Primary School -
I thought the children from the primary school set the pace, they were engaging, outspoken, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about what is going on locally with their youths in and around the area. I was very glad to see parents also engaging in this discussion, regarding their older siblings making mistakes and not wanting their youngers to make the same mistakes, so finding out what is available for their youngers to engage in and come out with positive results, that will inspire them not to get into crime or gangs but better themselves within sports or youth clubs, etc.

Bede Youth Club -
This session was very interesting due to the cross zones that attended that night, the youths from Berms were hosting and were a bit apprehensive of Peckham school youths coming to their club, we had to get them bonding over pizza in order to get the ball rolling but after a while both sets of youths relaxed and asked some very interesting questions about the price of hiring a football pitch which isn’t part of a subsidised youth club or charity, so it will cost them a fortune due to not all YP's having the money to pay for the pitches. The interesting part of this question was... "We have two youth clubs (Jack Hobbs) & (Brandon YC) and they are both not open. WHY IS THIS" when they are right on our estate and the council have closed them down. The problem of going to the pitch in the first place is being body checked (search by other Youths) every time you go and being stopped by police too!... It was very disheartening listening has a youth worker, to young people saying just open it up, please sort it out...

Harris Academy Peckham YR 10 - 11's
This was the night where we could of have so many junior MP's sign up to parliament due to being so informative about their local areas, the Youths spoke very well and to the point about knifes in their areas, being hidden in bins, play grounds, under the polices noses, trying to survive without being SAS by undercover Police, running away from Police when they should be after real criminals. Being scared to approach Police. YP's just coming up with so many ideas and maybe solutions for the police as well as the panel to take into consideration when moving forward with this forum...

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