Safer centre for the pupils

BREAKING down barriers between young people, residents and police resulted in a new youth centre. The victory was welcomed by students and officers, who worked closely together on their Safer Neighbourhood Panel (SNP). The new youth centre in Dollis Hi

BREAKING down barriers between young people, residents and police resulted in a new youth centre.

The victory was welcomed by students and officers, who worked closely together on their Safer Neighbourhood Panel (SNP).

The new youth centre in Dollis Hill, will be based on the site of the Crest Academies for Boys and Girls, in Crest Road.

Before they started teaming up in April 2006, there were tensions between residents and school pupils.


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Former student, Icram Serroukh, 19, who joined the panel when she was at Crest Academy for Girls, said: "The main reason I got involved was that there was no youth centre in the area.

"There wasn't much for young people to do. It's good to know something came from the all meetings we had."

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She became involved in the SNP, because she 'wanted to be a proactive member of the community'. There were issues that did concern me and I wanted to improve the area.

"Working together on the panel has really broken down barriers."

Sgt Ceri Rees, of the Dollis Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "When I arrived here there was still a lot of tension between the residents and young people. Now the number of complaints is zero."

He said having young people in the panel helped in the team's police work.

A council spokesman said: "The Crest Academies were interested on offering youth club provision to their students for some years. Both schools were selected for funding through a pilot scheme.

"The schools decided to pool their funds and open a youth club."

Gill Close, who is chairwoman of the Safer Neighbourhood Panel, said: "There's too much in the press about the minority of youngsters. We found few Safer Neighbourhood Panels are as successful at engaging young people as this one is."

She added: "We happen to have the benefit of a school in our midst so we've capitalised on that.

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