UK

New start: Safe houses help teenagers flee gang violence

Gang members determined to flee a lifetime of violence are being supplied ‘secure houses’ in a scheme to fight knife crime in London.

More than 100 younger individuals have thus far been housed and helped with training and employment to present them a brand new life.

The secure houses are self-funded and led by pastors from Spac Nation, a church the place 55% of people who attend have beforehand been concerned in a lifetime of crime.

“There are 15-year-olds dying on the streets and this should not be happening,” says Tobi Adegboyega, who leads the mission. “It’s one of the reasons why we started this initiative. We have 23 self-funded safe houses across London.”

Tobi Adegboyega leads the scheme
Image: Tobi Adegboyega leads the scheme

Mr Adegboyega claims the scheme will help save lives and lower violent crime.

“I have had to remove people from east London and put them in south London overnight otherwise they would die or end up killing someone else.”

Iges started dealing drugs in London at the age of 13. He has now been rehoused in a safe house - one of 100 people who have been picked to start their lives anew.
‘If I wasn’t right here it might both be jail or dying’

Sky News has been given unique entry to 2 safe houses used to position distance between gangs and susceptible youths prone to being sucked into them.

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Those below 18 require permission from their native authority as a way to be allowed to reside within the houses.

Demar was stabbed seven times and forced to leave the family home
Image: Demar was stabbed seven instances and compelled to go away the household residence

Demar, 14, is a former gang member who was stabbed seven instances final month and was pressured to go away his household residence for his personal security.

“I did not know I’d been stabbed till I noticed blood pouring out onto my sneakers and I bought so dizzy. One of my associates referred to as an ambulance and I bought taken to hospital.

“I do not bear in mind a lot however I awakened and so they have been attempting to cease the bleeding. I spent every week in hospital. I’m so fortunate to be alive.”

The capital has been blighted by various deadly stabbings this 12 months. Figures present within the final 5 years, the variety of teenagers being handled for knife wounds has risen by 55%.

Spac Nation pass on any weapons recovered to the police
Image: Spac Nation go on any weapons recovered to the police

Labour’s shadow residence secretary, Diane Abbott, has backed the secure home initiative following a collection deadly of knife assaults in her Hackney North and Stoke Newington, constituency.

Ms Abbott instructed Sky News: “You can’t police your way out of knife crime and youth violence. You have to have an effective policing operation but the public understands you have to have a holistic solution and I think these safe houses may well be part of it.”

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John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says secure houses must be rolled out and utilized by police forces.

He mentioned: “My colleagues are uninterested in coping with the fallout from knife crime and the police must be concerned in schemes like these.

“In most instances younger individuals won’t really feel assured accepting assist from the police, so that is one other method of reaching people who’re thought-about harmful.

“I think many of these young people falling into a life of crime are also victims themselves and we need to help them.”

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