“LET’S TALK” is a long term project addressing knife crime in Peckham and central Southwark, which will also have value in the national debate. It focuses on the voice of young people.

Across 2019 CTVT has been running a series of discussion forums, working with local professionals who visit schools and youth clubs to listen to young people. Alongside the talking, CTVT is producing a documentary film to tour schools and youth clubs during the autumn. The 2019 production will feature the arts: Harris Academy Peckham pupils have written a musical around a tragic knife crime story; many local young people are writing poetry and rap in their response to current events; a Peckham based dance company, Movement Factory, have created a dance drama “ONE ROAD, TWO PATHS” centred around knife crime. To this tapestry of creativity will be added the voice of young ‘talking heads’ suggesting remedies to the phenomenon of violence we are living through.

This pattern of live events, with young people addressing a select professional Panel, and a film touring schools and youth clubs will be repeated from 2020 to 2022. Funding for this comes from London Community Foundation via The Peckham Settlement. The latter organisation are supporting the pilot project in 2019.

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Case studies will be generated from audio recordings of the forums, with individuals anonymised. Inevitably there are shocking stories emerging from the discussion forums, but there are simple, powerful insights too. This work will be offered to Government Departments such as –

Home Office; Department for Education; Department of Health & Social Care; Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government; Ministry of Justice

and to Executive Agencies such as Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service, as well as to Advisory non-departmental public bodies such as Sentencing Council for England & Wales.

It is hoped that over the course of the next three years CTVT will accumulate a valuable body of data, tracking young lives and showing the evolution of response to knife crime.

At the fifth Discussion Forum of the 2019 series Panel members told of their reflections, proposals and actions that result from listening to local young people. Panel members have also come together spontaneously in partnership, with an extraordinary outcome in one instance which saw parents of a local murdered young man being invited to a private meeting with the Prime Minister. Theresa May was so struck by the testimony of the father that she released money to a support service, the National Homicide Service, run through the Ministry of Justice. This extra money pays for two extra case workers to support bereaved families in London. A direct outcome of LET’S TALK.