On Friday 22nd March London-based educational stakeholders from various different settings met with Youmanity for their 2SMILE workshop. 2Smile is a pioneering student-centred project funded by...
Youmanity reports on Unique Talent CIC, a most innovative and, as the name suggests, ‘unique’ organisation the aim of which is to reduce the effects of gang culture on communities. By effects is intended the affiliation of young people to groups involved in an array of crime types. Acquisitive crime, robberies, drug use/supply, child sexual exploitation are the main crime segments that may bring vulnerable young people together. Intimidation and weapons are often used for the commission of crime.
More specifically, knife-enabled crime continues to dominate the headlines to the point that the general public, police and politicians are now seriously worried. What is more worrying is the realisation that knife attacks in London have become increasingly violent. Protecting vulnerable individuals from violence and exploitation by gangs is now a top priority. MOPAC and even the MET Police are now employing a ‘Public Health Approach’ to the problem by engaging organisations such as Unique Talent CIC to tackle such an unparalleled phenomenon.
In the 12 months to March 2017, over 12,000 knife crime offences were recorded in London - representing a 21% increase. 75% of victims were male below the age of 25. Over 100 young people have died on our street this year alone, this is one of the highest rates across the world.
Often victims of knife crime are gang members or gang-affiliated youths. It is important to acknowledge the fact that they, whether victims or offenders, remain vulnerable juveniles from an unprivileged socio-economic background. There is also evidence to suggest that school exclusions have contributed to rising gang crime. As Unique Talent gang interface manager Michael Appiah explains:
“A gang member can be born out of many situations. They can become willing or forced gang partners. For many youths being part of a gang is a way to survive, a way of life. There are many stories as to how youngsters form gangs. Generally, they are run with a family kind of template, that is , with respect, with all members having each other’s best interest at heart.”
The work of Unique Talent CIC is groundbreaking as it can provide a dynamic and open communication channel between community leaders and local gang members. Most importantly, the organisation provides three interconnected services aimed at:
1. gang prevention/mediation
3. Basis of music production
Through these services Unique Talent CIC offers positive alternatives and diversion programs to young people involved with or at risk of involvement in gangs and serious youth violence.
The organisation is renowned to conduct extensive street-based outreach work, thus establishing important links with young people and local communities. In so doing, staff at Unique Talent CIC gain knowledge of specific local issues and any potential conflicts. Where appropriate, they can even offer conflict resolution and mediation services, aimed at reducing potential tensions.
Youmanity applauds the work carried out by staff at Unique Talent CIC and wishes them more deserved success.
To learn more about Unique Talent CIC click HERE
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