By Peter Dominiczak
20 April 2012
Hundreds of young people are to demand that the next Mayor listens to their ideas on tackling London’s youth crime crisis.
About 200 young people will call on the capital’s politicians to take action on knife and gang crime at a rally this weekend.
Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, started the A Mayor for Young London Campaign this year after becoming frustrated at the lack of progress from City Hall on the fight against youth crime.
She said: “My main focus is the victims of crime and particularly young people who don’t feel safe. It would be easy for me, as a London politician, to say, ‘Something must be done’.
"But we need young people to have a voice. Something needs to happen — 7,500 kids last year in London alone were victims of knife crime at the hands of other young people.
“These young people are not passive. They want to be leaders in their own communities and say, ‘This is not the sort of life we want to lead’.
"The mayoral elections are an opportunity because the Mayor has so much potential power. The Mayor needs to be better at bringing people together.”
Using social media and local youth networks, Ms Creasy has assembled groups of young people from across the city who will tomorrow call for immediate action from City Hall.
Nurgul Kinli, 18, from Tottenham, experienced last year’s riots. She said: “Since I was young, people around me have died because they had become involved in crime. It has affected me all my life.
"There are so many gangs around the area where I live. Young people in gangs feel like they’ve been forgotten. The Mayor has to tell them that there are people who care.”
Segun Akinwoleola, 24, from Newham, said: “I’ve grown up around gangs and postcode wars, but I managed to go off and go to university and get a first-class degree. I just haven’t yet seen anything from the mayoral candidates on youth crime.”
Jermain Jackman, 17, of Hackney, added: “These politicians seem to fail to understand that we are the next generation.”
Tomorrow afternoon’s rally is in Paddington. Contact @stellacreasy on Twitter for more information.