SWOT ANALYSIS a STRESS TEST

STRENGTH:- Noted by the representativeness and attendance of over 60 persons on average, a mix of gender, age and responsibilities, all considered, that some notables attended more than one session, and in the different locations around London. This was for practical reasons and to thread community engagement while remaining on the subject matter of combating knife crime. The lowest age of the youth was 7 years of age rising up to 26 years; and attendance was gender balanced with both female and male taking turns to make their cases, views and presentations as appropriate. Engagement here was a balanced input of the youth, parents, community leaders, professionals, and the Police. Partnerships were demonstrated by testimonies, which variously highlighted the challenges faced by the different attendees i.e. youth, parents, police. Data, the basis of a concert that knife crime can be ‘kept-in-check ‘as demonstrated by the Somali community that had succeeded to turning it around.

WEAKNESS–These were variously expressed as:
i. Historical negativities by the two sides, namely, the Police and Black people, which was variously mooted as a cultural gap i.e. Police training empty of how to engage Black people, was not explored.
ii. Parental fears of own children being either victims or involved in knife crime impacted by veto not to spy on social media and fear of abuse by imposing restrictions/discipline, was not delved into. Parental expectation of police such to protect/support not consistent with police operational mode/responses to situations, too was not delved into. Parental struggles to provide, and love for their children only mentioned in passing.
iii. Sources/retailing of offending knives – papered over in the negligence blame game between Police and community, but not followed up.
iv. Funding to translate the outputs from the initiatives into outcomes that can impact on community combating knife crime, and stemming resulting deaths, was mooted but not delved into.


OPPORTUNITY–Arises from a mooted statement by ‘Mr G’ of Met Police to quote, ‘..solution is present but must be discovered...’
i. Therapeutic Space in which all concerned can take time to discuss and reflect on real or suspected negativities was variously mooted such as taking place within the household, the community and inter/intra-community/Police. The BHA mantras to quote, ‘...no one can do it for you...’; cannot wait for someone else to do it...’; ‘...take responsibility on going concern...’ mooted as an appropriate guiding compass. With a degree of certainty will be peculiarities within each setting and there cannot be a format to be imposed but each can evolve. The effort is to initiate/start. Within the family the parents can or must create time such as through/during/support with school homework. The community can initiate youth centre chats during social/faith sessions. Inter/intra-police/community can kick in with neighbourhoods such as through community/youth leaders, influencers, etc.
ii. Parent/child dialogue in which all sorts of issues, fears, interests, etc., are explored not for spying purposes but showing interest in the welfare and wellbeing on their youth when outside the house or engaged in social media, etc. Help/support parents with the soft art of disciplining the youth rather than punishment.
iii. Community/Police relationship was an expression by both the community and police to continue engaged. To deepen this through dedicated/personalised links i.e. named police officers who can be called upon in related cases. Humanising the experiences/evidence the police as or can be on the side of the affected, yet maintaining their professional call.
iv. Overcoming youth challenge by reconnecting through change of language and mode of engagement such as inferences of ‘Uncle’ and ‘Auntie ‘restricted to kinship to widen them as point of respect and readiness to listen to/for advice. Embedding the oft-used adages such as ‘...charity begins at home...’ in relationship to the ‘keeping-in-check’ involvement in or all sorts of negative/adverse activities. Widening/deepening social media communications through an idiom ‘...tell a friend to tell a friend to tell a friend...’
v. Cultural leadership and empowerment was mooted through creating of ‘...Group Influencers (GI)..’ driven by statutory stands such as ‘...The Right to Life...’; ‘...Human Rights do not Discriminate...’ GI would have the trust of both the community and Police such as access to both legal and social/community advice, etc.
vi. Institutional support i.e. Scientology booklets on learning how to understand issues; MOPAC website with information on child grooming, etc., all at ready for signposting. Celebrating identity and culture such as Community Red-carpet event, Dinner Balls, music festival, etc., should be considered.
vii. Police question – what does the community want from the Police? Was Youth responses such as police racism; normal access to schooling impeded by violence hot spots; restoring faith by tacking Police profiling. Demystifying the police as not part of the solution by recruiting from the community.
viii. Professionals to found/develop a ‘Learning Sharing ‘early intervention models which increases awareness that mothers too are victims; and retunes trust Building trust between mothers and children to narrow the communication gap. More that ‘Rights ‘and ‘Responsibilities ‘are equally drummed and applies to both parents and children.
ix. Tacking the entry level of involvement in knife crime directed at policy/police to revisit starting point as being at secondary school level and not primary school as its now.
x. Legislation by policy makers to effect an Inter/Intra-communities engagements such as Police proactive in awareness raising activities that are preventative rather that reactive/punitive.
xi. Combating negatives i.e. customised crime – Black on Black. BHA involvement to aid police achieve goals on knife crime reduction, support community to enhance race relationship, combat youth feeling of being isolated, identify/manage potential mental health issues.
THREATS – arises from a range of expressions such as;
i. Black people experience such attitude towards police and vice versa. This was expressed by the youth, the parents and also the Black Police Mr ‘G’own observed disproportionate reactions.
ii. Attitude embedded in Black people that are not expected to make mistakes i.e. robotic police dealing with black people who distrust the police. An expressed view by a community leader that youth must follow the law and must behave in a way that is lawful. Youth must not fear or hide from the police, and must collaborate with them.
iii. Media sensation that knife crime is a Black on Black violence.
iv. Poverty of funding to translate the Outcome/Opportunity into Strengths to stem knife crime.