|Tulse Hill has often been associated with the increase in youth violence that has been reported across the capital – including the tragic death of 16-year-old John Ogonjobi in November 2018. As local councillors, we have have been raising issues that concern local parents the most – including the negative impact of school exclusions and the lack of activities for young people. Sadly, at our public meeting held in March 2019 too many young people voiced how they feel they aren’t safe – something only made worse by strained relationships with the police, partly as a result of some of the aggressive “stop and search” tactics used. We will be holding a further public meeting with the Tulse Hill Forum, young people and our local MP from 7pm on 21st May 2020 at Jubilee Hall on the Tulse Hill Estate.
In March 2018 Lambeth Council committed to a long-term public health programme to reduce violence against young people. In the 2019 budget we agreed an investment of £500,000 for this programme and in February we allocated £1m for expenditure in 2020. We have also put in place a 1% levy on all the Council’s major contracts to generate £1.2m for a Youth Opportunity Fund, using the Council’s purchasing power in the local economy to provide direct social value to residents.
In Lambeth, as a result of the shift to a public health approach to tackling this issue, violence against young people “has fallen faster than [in] most other London boroughs”. Here in Tulse Hill Ward we’ve seen the introduction of a dedicated Early Help team to provide support for families and the fantastic work undertaken by Leap Confronting Conflict has cemented a strong relationship with young people on the Tulse Hill Estate. In particular, Tulse Hill parents voiced their fears that school exclusions were fuelling the increase in violence amongst young people by taking pupils out of school rather than giving them support. As a result of better partnership working between the Council and local school, primary school exclusions in Lambeth have dropped by 50%.