Sunday, 3 March 2013

Stabbing on Streatham High Road - Would expanded 'Safe Havens' scheme have helped?

On Saturday afternoon there was another stabbing in Streatham - this time thankfully it does not appear to have been fatal.  The one in August last year in Gleneldon Mews sadly was.

The details seem to have been that before 5.00pm a 17 year old was stabbed, on the other side to The High on Streatham High Road .  Witnesses describe seeing the boy being chased and "running for his life".  At one point he reportedly ran into a clothing shop near 'I Love Coffee'.

Officers, London Ambulance Service and London's Air Ambulance attended  and he was taken to a south London hospital where he remains in a stable condition.  Three people have been arrested.

This is clearly the wrong time to cut the local Safer Neighbourhood Team down from six to just two people as the Mayor of London is proposing, with 20% cuts to the police service.  However, it also begs questions about what can be done in such circumstances by the community.  Whilst local intelligence from community policing is very important, the police cannot be everywhere, all of the time.

The details of the incident are yet to fully emerge, but it does seem that this is the kind of incident which the CitySafe scheme can help to tackle.  The scheme, which we have been supporting and promoting, has been developed by London Citizens.  It enables shopkeepers to make their shops "Safe Havens" for young people who find themselves in trouble.  Hundreds of shops across London already take part.

Shops that become CitySafe Havens sign a charter committing them to:

- Pledge to report 100% of crime to the Police
- Offer their premises as a safe haven for any young person in danger
- Maintain a relationship with neighbours, police and the local community
- Encourage their staff to attend CitySafe training
- Refuse to sell alcohol, knives or other dangerous items to underage or drunk customers.

The initiative is growing in Streatham, the shops taking part on Streatham High Road are the All Aboard charity shop, Unikob The Stationer and Shoppers Delight newsagent.  However more shops need to be encouraged to take part, and young people also need to be made more aware of their existence.   These are both things we are working to do.

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