LAST MONTH saw another fatal stabbing on the Isle of Dogs – and the Island Network lost no time in calling its member organisations together, to meet representatives of the local police and housing providers.
The meeting had a single focus: how to respond to the recent upsurge in violence and the effects – which ripple through the whole community? Families and friends of the victims suffer as they see their loved on hurt or even losing their life. Those who know the perpetrators suffer too, as they see their loved ones being tried and sentenced to long spells in prison. And the whole community suffers, as we think twice about going out and worry about our nearest and dearest. We also have to pay out to keep perpetrators in prison – while no one, it seems, has any money to fund preventative measures.
The Island Network decided that its first step would be to set up an Island-wide Neighbourhood Watch. An initial drive after the meting saw 50 volunteers recruited who will form an outreach team. They will be trained and then deployed across the Island to watch out for early signs of trouble brewing, so the emergency services can be called out quickly when necessary. The team of “White Coat” volunteers will also be able to alert housing providers and service providers to what they can do to support the community and stop young people falling into crime.
Island Network Chair Maium Talukdar said, “We are very grateful to everyone who attended our emergency meeting. We want to work with everyone and create a safer community. We are very concerned about the current situation as we can see that too many people are living in fear. We want to give our community confidence and awareness by deploying volunteers around the whole island.”
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