Pilot scheme aims to bring communities together

A summer pilot scheme to help build community cohesion and tackle crime has been set up in the borough.
A planning group consisting of the police, victim support and various voluntary sector organisations have been working with Tower Hamlets Council’s youth services to tackle violence and anti-social behaviour.
Summer Night Lights, a violence reduction programme originally launched in Los Angeles in 2008, addresses ‘peak offending’ during the holiday period by boosting positive activities suitable for everyone.
It will involve 18 events, all of which will serve hot food, which has proven a great way to encourage the community to come together and is similar to tactics used in America.
As well as a barbecue, other activities which will vary between the sites include a bouncy castle, fairground games, wall climbing, dance classes, graffiti projects and many competitions.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “We’ve been working hard with our partners to develop a series of events that not only builds community cohesion but allows us to work together in reducing crime and disorder.
“Each event has been strategically placed over the six week summer period and runs between hours identified as peak offending times. By doing this we are able to encourage positive participation amongst our whole community with free family events.”
The scheme has been designed to engage the whole community and is currently being piloted in seven London boroughs with the aim of evaluating and developing the project before potentially rolling it out across London.
Chief Inspector for neighbourhood policing, Mark Long, said: “We will have local police officers onsite and available to talk to residents on any police related matters such as anti-social behaviour or crime issues.
“The officers will also be taking part in the organised community events throughout the evening and we will have some of our equipment and support services on show to demonstrate the complexity of policing today.”
In the US the project has helped achieve a significant reduction in violence within areas and has also helped develop a stronger bond amongst the community.
Devon’s Road, Shadwell, Whitechapel and the Collingwood Estate areas have been highlighted as areas which could benefit from the additional support and resources available through this project.
Cabinet member for Children Services, Cllr Gulam Robbani, said: “Tower Hamlets is a vibrant and dynamic area which allows us to come together and celebrate our diversity at events like these. Each venue has a different mix of activities and sessions created to appeal to all young people and their families.”
All sessions are free and booking is not required. For more information visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/youth or contact the numbers below.

Bigland Street, E1 2ND

Friday 1 August 4-10pm

Saturday 2 August 4-10pm

Sunday 3 August 4-10pm

For more information call Asik Miah on 07817 222 042

Christian Street, E1 1NL

Friday 8 August 4-10pm

Saturday 9 August 4-10pm

Sunday 10 August 4-10pm

For more information call Asik Miah on 07817 222 042

Linc Centre, 70 Fern Street, E3 3PR

Thursday 14 August 4-10pm

Friday 15 August 4-10pm

Saturday 16 August 4-10pm

Thursday 21 August 4-10pm

Friday 22 August 4-10pm

Saturday 23 August 4-10pm

For more information call Shabul Miah on 07940 978 798

Collingwood Hall, Collingwood Street, E1 5RT

Thursday 28 August 3-8pm

Friday 29 August 4-11pm

Saturday 30 August 2-8pm

Thursday 4 September 4-10pm

Friday 5 September 4-11pm

Saturday 6 September 2-7pm

For more information call Noor Uddin on 07961 898 339

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