Monday, August 08, 2011

Letter regarding the riots

I sent the letter below to the local papers around midday today. Soon after, both the local Croydon Guardian and Advertiser web sites reported that Bright House and Best Buy shops had been targeted last night. And just now a LIVE UPDATE from the Croydon Guardian reports that Argos and Maplin have been vandalized.

8th August 2011

Dear Editor,

At time of writing, Croydon is yet to experience the scenes that we have all watched in horror unfold in Tottenham, Enfield and Brixton. There is no doubt the reasons for the riots are deep rooted and multifaceted.

However, one can argue that rising youth unemployment and the ever-increasing cost of further education does not help the situation. It is also interesting to note that the youth services budget was cut by 75 per cent in Tottenham.

A skilled youth worker is sometimes the only person that can reach out to a vulnerable teenager that sees only a path of criminality. As a former youth worker for Croydon Council, I could see first hand the importance of youth clubs. Moreover, I observed that youth clubs operate on scant budgets. Just to offer a slice of pizza was a stretch on the budgets of the managers. In order to build relationships with the most vulnerable teenagers, you have to encourage them into the club in the first place.

Forty-one youth workers are set to lose their jobs in Croydon, and a number of youth clubs are set to close. I hope this is not a recipe for disaster.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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