Former offenders were on hand at a community police event in Tulse Hill to promote a 12-month anti-gang programme.
Junior Smart, from the St Giles Trust SOS Project, joined the local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), council officers and the residents association for a community action day at Jubilee House, on the Tulse Hill Estate on Saturday (July 7).
The event took place just yards from where 17-year-old Nana Darko Frempong was shot dead in June last year.
Smart said: “The day gave us a real opportunity to get the right message across to young people about the realities of getting caught up in gangs and street weapons. This lifestyle will ultimately lead to time in prison or perhaps worse.
“The SOS Team has first-hand experience of this and can talk with real credibility on how a criminal record will negatively affect the rest of your life and the impact of such behaviour on victims, their families and the local community.”
The event, which was a success despite wet weather on Saturday, included a tug of war, music-making sessions and fun activities.
Sergeant Anton Menzies from Tulse Hill SNT said “June last year saw a young man shot dead on the estate. Nana Darko Frempong‘s murder shocked the local community and since then local people have been working closely with my policing team, the Local Authority and other groups to change attitudes amongst a small minority of young people who believe being involved in gang culture is acceptable.”
He added: “The message from local people is clear; we won’t tolerate any kind of anti-social or criminal behaviour.”
For more information on St Giles Trust SOS Project visit www.sosproject.org.uk. You can contact the Tulse Hill SNT for information or dates of the upcoming public meetings on their website; www.met.police.uk/team/lambeth/tulsehill.