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William Ackah

Senior Lecturer, Birkbeck University of London (United Kingdom)
Funded Research Project Title: Reducing Knife Crime in Inner London: An Engaged Community Based Approach

Project title: Reducing Knife Crime in Inner London: An Engaged Community Based Approach

William’s research is guided by the question: “How effective has Haringey Council’s community focused approach been in tackling knife crime in the borough?” The London Borough of Haringey is an inner London local authority area with high levels of child poverty compared to the rest of the country. ( Levels of knife crime across London have proven to be scourge on the society impacting young people from poor and black and minority ethnic backgrounds disproportionality.

The research consists of utilising the services of a research assistant and community research associate to work with the Community Development Programme Director of Birkbeck and the Community Safety Team of Haringey to identify the key resources and sources required to undertake a detailed assessment and evaluation of Haringey’s efforts to reduce knife crime. The team will produce a scoping exercise report with a detailed action plan which will outline how our partnership will work together to address this issue long term.

The objective of the initial exercise is to work with the Community Safety Team and Policy Team of the local authority to identify the key resources and sources that have been utilised in their efforts to reduce knife crime. The team will engage a research assistant and a community research associate to undertake the following:

  • Identify and outline the strategic documents and policies that have been used in the authority’s approach to tackling knife crime.
  • Identify and outline the community organisations and strategic partners that the authority has engaged with in developing and implementing their strategies.
  • Identify groups and organisations that have not engaged with the authority and its partners in implementing the strategies
  • Identify the data sets that can be utilised to assess incidences of knife crime in the borough overa five- year time span incorporating data prior to the implementation of the strategy.
  • Identify and outline the existing literature and comparators that Haringey’s work can be evaluated against. The initial work outlined above will provide a framework for more detailed research whereby stakeholders and non-stakeholders will be interviewed, data analysed and assessed, strategic documents reviewed and comparative analysis undertaken to assess the merits of Haringey’s approach. For the scoping element of the project, the team will work with the Community Team to identify a local person who would develop their research skills in undertaking the role of community research associate, helping to build capacity locally.

The ultimate impact of the long-term project is that it will save the lives of young people in London.
It will lead to clearer understandings of what constitutes effective partnership working in reducing knife crime. It will result in more effective engaged community, local authority, and other statutory agency working arrangements across London in dealing with this issue. It will facilitate improved monitoring, assessment and evaluation of schemes targeted at communities to tackle knife crime and related issues.
It will facilitate ongoing partnership between the University, Community Safety Team and Community Organisations in the borough and further afield.