Supporting young people to get back to school safely
The events, which run from Tuesday 4 to Friday 7 September, are part of the council’s Choose Your Future campaign, to unite Croydon against serious youth violence and support young people to make positive choices.
The programme is being run and supported by a wide range of partners, which include Croydon Council’s youth engagement team; the police, Victim Support; Croydon BME Forum, Croydon Business Improvement District (BID) and Centrale and Whitgift Shopping Centres.
Support will also be provided by Turning Point, substance misuse service; Safer London, who work to safeguard young people from gangs, exploitation and crime; Croydon street and school pastors; CDI (Croydon Drop In) support and counselling service and Croydon’s sexual health team, who will advise on healthy relationships.
The youth engagement team will be in North End each day promoting the campaign, and talking to young people about safety, including personal safety, robbery and knife crime. They will also be publicising projects and events they will be running during the autumn term.
The team will be joined by the street pastors on Thursday 6 and Friday 7, who will be in the town centre from 2.45-5.30pm.
Victim Support will also have an information stand promoting its services in North End on Wednesday 5.
They will be conducting a quick survey around safety to ensure their services are supporting young people and meeting their needs and will give away personal safety alarms to those who feel they might need them.
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities, said: “The back to school initiative is focused on supporting many young students who may be making their way to and from school for the first time - helping them to stay safe, advising where they can get support, and sharing the range of activities designed for our young people going on up and down the borough.”
The police will have high visibility patrols in the town centre after school each day, and will be engaging with young people to help raise awareness of crime and deterring would be offenders.
They will also be outside schools to walk pupils towards transport links, and at West Croydon Bus Station.
They will talk with pupils as they get on and off the buses and on their journeys, helping if problems arise. They will also remind young people of behaviour expectations on public transport.
The CDI Talkbus will also be in the town centre, outside McDonalds from Tuesday to Friday, from 2.30-5.30pm.
For further information on the youth engagement team’s services, please see https://youngcroydon.org.uk/.