Hackney Council,

Hackney launch community activities to improve safety around Gilpin Square

Free football training, theatre trips, and a local fun day are part of a new Council project in the Mandeville Street area to improve community safety and tackle crime.

Led by the Council's Community Gangs Team and funded by partners including the Mayor of London's Violence Reduction Unit, Sport England and the Safer Neighbourhood Board, the project is part of a multi-stage plan to make visible improvements and increase community participation in the area. The overall aim is to prevent and divert individuals away from engaging in criminal and anti-social behaviour.

The project has begun with three weeks of action where organisations will carry out a focused period of activities including increased waste collection, CCTV patrols, and community events like the family fun day.

After the initial stage, the Community Gangs Team will continue to work closely with the community to organise long-term activities. This includes a local gardening group, homework club, cooking club, a neighbourhood watch scheme, and ongoing football training with Leyton Orient Football Club.

The Council's Community Gangs Team was set up in 2010 to take a holistic approach to tackling crime. This means they work closely with residents, with a particular focus on young people and those who are at risk of becoming involved in gang violence, to resolve the social, educational, mental health and other factors that can lead to serious crime.

The team provides varied and flexible support - from organising free sports sessions for young people, to providing training and mentoring opportunities, or renovating community spaces. They work with the community and partners to set up local initiatives that make the area look and feel safer.

The project is supported by London’s Violence Reduction Unit, which brings people together to better understand why violence happens and how to prevent it through early intervention. The initiative is a partnership effort between over 30 different organisations and Council departments, including Hackney’s Resident Participation Team who support residents to set up local projects. 

Community safety is about more than just enforcement - we know that getting residents more connected and involved in community activities is an important way of reducing crime.

Last week at the community event, I saw first-hand how projects like this create opportunities for children to play, for neighbours to get to know each other and become involved in local projects. By strengthening these local relationships and listening to residents' views, we can continue to build positive interventions that make our streets safer.

Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas OBE, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Regulatory Services