01 September 2007

Peace On The Streets

Truce: Ready 4 WarTruce is a scheme designed to help young people escape from east London gangs. Bringing together thousands of young people in Hackney and Waltham for a series of concerts, its success rate is impressive: 84% of those indicating they wanted to get out of gangs were out within three months and hadn’t returned to the gangs after a further three months. Those who wanted to get out of gangs also showed a reduction in repeat offending: street crime dropped by more than 30% compared with 2005.

Yet, despite these achievements, certain groups objected to the initiative and claimed that the organiser, Police deputy superintendent Leroy Logan, had put his faith before his role as a police officer because Truce involved 100 churches as well as 70 statutory and voluntary agencies. Such blind prejudice is reminiscent of objections made against the faith-based prisoner reform programme Inner Change, credited with reducing reoffending from 55% to just 8%. You would have thought people would be happy that methods had been found to bring crime and antisocial behaviour under control ... but not when it is Christians who are leading the way, it seems.

To find out more about how Truce is slowly defeating the sad acceptance that crime is just a way of life, and instead encouraging victims of crime to work with the police to solve their communities' problems, make sure you have ordered your copy of The Difference, due out this week.