and the fear of crime are of concern to adults and young
people alike. These are some of the outcomes from the BTWSC
Because… youth crime workshop, which took place in Harrow
Civic Centre last Saturday (December 3).
workshop, organised by BTWSC, a voluntary organisation that
uses the creative arts to raise aspirations and promote social
inclusion, was facilitated by teachers and police officers. It
was a unique gathering of people of diverse backgrounds and
cultures - students from mainstream and supplementary schools,
parents, teachers, councillors, magistrates, youth workers,
police officers, the media, recording artists, faith and
community groups - sitting together to discuss the issues of
were short presentations, which included students from Sai
School of Harrow, barrister and Mastermind 2004 winner Shaun
Steve Tyler, Crime Reduction Partnership for Operation
Trident; Delroy Elliot, father of murder victim Anton Hyman; and Iffat
Rizvi of Sabina’s Trust Against Revolvers & Racism, who
was one of the victim families featured in the Don’t Trigger
anti-gun crime campaign ‘Why?’ video , which was screened
before the start of the workshop.
by Sgt. Andrew Jackson, Wealdstone Safer Neighbourhood Team;
Tyler from Operation Trident; educationalist Dr. Morgan
Dalphinis; and Varsa Mistry from Sai School of Harrow.
Aid representative Andrew Baker added an international
dimension to the event, when he received a cheque of £80
raised from the auctioning of a limited edition of American
jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton’s ‘The Complete Library Of
Congress Recordings’ donated by HMV. He asked the audience
to pray for his colleague Norman Kember, one of the kidnapped
Westerners in Iraq.
solutions included the promotion of education in a wider context,
which highlighted values; the promotion of positive images in
the media; discipline; and the notion of responsibility among
the most interesting message from young people was that they
want youth clubs that teach human values. The overall
message of the day was the need for collective responsibility
in working together to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
and promote good role models and good things, then younger
people will try and act like that,” offered 11 year old
friends Joanne Broad and Ann-Marie Twumasi.
participant, Meera Maisuria, said the way forward was
“talking to young people from the age of three or four about
what is right or wrong.”
some forms of music were criticised for criminal influence on
the youth, the event showed there was conscious musical
entertainment, as provided by the Royal Priesthood, The Good
Samaritan Music Project, Shimm1, Owen Deacon, and Master
workshop was preceded by a competition inviting 11-19 year
olds to express their views on youth crime in no more than 100
words. Interestingly, whilst some as young as 8 were
keen to express their views, some adults and stakeholders felt
that “youth crime” was the domain of experts. BTWSC
decided to reward the effort of all those who participated in
the competition by offering prizes in recognition of effort.
the entrants who attended the workshop received a selection of
music CDs donated by SonyBMG, the ‘Made In Britain’
inspirational book and wrist bands donated by the Metropolitan
Police. Children’s author and teacher Frances Somers Cocks
presented the prizes and donated copies of her historical
novel ‘Abraham Hannibal And The Raiders Of The Sands’.
Brent South MP Dawn Butler offered a tour of the House Of
Commons for the family of the winning entry from a Brent
resident, which will be presented at the BTWSC Creativity/Fun
Day on Saturday December 17, 12-6pm at Tavistock Hall in
Harlesden, north-west London.
way young people and adults from diverse backgrounds and
cultures worked together demonstrated that collective
responsibility is the way forward in tackling youth crime,”
stated BTWSC co-ordinator Ms Serwah, adding, “An African
proverb says, ‘It takes one woman to bring a child into the
world, but it takes a community to raise the child’.”
aims to publish a document containing the entries, outcomes of
the workshop and policy recommendations. A summary and other
youth crime resources can be found on the microsite www.btwsc.com/because.htm