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12 th May 2011 PowerPoint Presentation
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12 th May 2011

12 th May 2011

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12 th May 2011

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  1. Social research report for:London Borough of Waltham Forest: Community Cohesion Survey Findings – Final Report 12th May 2011

  2. Table of Contents • Introduction Page 1 • Respondent Profile Page 5 • Participation, Decision Making and Communication Page 10 • Community Cohesion Page 18 • Perceptions of Community Safety Page 29 • Gangs and Gang-Related Issues Page 47 • Formation and Nature of Cultural Beliefs Page 57 • Awareness and Perceptions of Extremism Page 64 • Research Findings by Sub-Group Page 75 • Other Issues Raised Page 82 • Engagement Segmentation Model Page 84 • Conclusions Page 102 • Recommendations Page 105


  4. Research Objectives • In January 2010 Waltham Forest Council commissioned Ci Research to conduct a survey of secondary schools in the borough to understand more about the views of young people on extremism, gangs and community safety. • There were a series of objectives for the research which included: • To quantify and qualify the knowledge and understanding that Key Stage 4 (KS4) pupils had of extremism, gangs and community cohesion in Waltham Forest. • To understand how extremism and gangs were affecting the lives of KS4 pupils. • To understand the factors that might be influencing KS4 pupils to develop extremist views or join gangs. • To seek views from KS4 pupils as to how to prevent extremism and gang membership amongst fellow pupils and friends across Waltham Forest. • The outcomes of the programme of quantitative and qualitative research have included: • A representative sample from across the borough of the KS4 demographic. • An inclusive piece of research which has been sensitive to the issues which needed to be addressed and has produced valid results for all members of the community. • Evidence based recommendations for use in Waltham Forest’s Prevent Action Plan and associated strategies. 2

  5. Research Methodology: Quantitative Survey • In order to design an effective survey which would add value to existing knowledge of issues of community cohesion in Waltham Forest, Ci Research facilitated a workshop with stakeholders from within the Council and representatives from local schools. • All schools in the borough were invited to participate in the survey and in total six schools responded, four in the last half term of 2010 and two in the first half term of 2011. • The questionnaire was developed in conjunction with the Youth Engagement Team at Waltham Forest Council and was piloted with a group of Young Ambassadors. • Questions were also included to allow comparisons with previous community cohesions surveys, such as the Tell Us Research conducted in 2008 and the Young Voice Survey conducted in 2007. • The questionnaire was finalised by Ci Research in accordance with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct. It was designed to take no longer than 15 minutes to complete under supervision within tutorial groups or during PSHE classes. • Each school was approached to ascertain whether they would prefer paper self-completion surveys or an on-line option. All the schools selected to complete the survey via the paper questionnaire approach. • Information packs were prepared for the teachers involved and each school was asked to select a full year group within KS4 to complete the survey. • Completed surveys were returned to Ci Research for inputting and data verification. 3

  6. Research Methodology: Qualitative Phase • During the qualitative stage, research was conducted in seven settings: • A group of young advisers to Waltham Forest Council, • Three school-based groups with a representative mix of students from each school, • A group with Muslim students, • A Christian group at a local youth organisation, and • One to one interviews conducted at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). • Young Adviser Focus Group: Conducted at Walthamstow Town Hall with members of the Council’s panel of young advisers. 12 young people attended and were incentivised at their agreed hourly rate for their input to the Council. • School–based focus groups x 3: These were conducted with representative groups of Year 10s during PHSE, citizenship lessons or lunch time. • Heathcote School – 12 students • George Mitchell School – 14 students • Willowfield School – 10 students • Muslim Focus Group: Conducted with 6 Year 10 Muslims attending Madrassas. Students attended Kelmscott School and a cash incentive towards funding the end of Year Ball was provided for their participation. • Christian Focus Group: Undertaken with 9 young Christians attending a youth group at the Emmanuel Christian Centre. Cash incentives were provided. • One to one interviews at a PRU x 7: Conducted with Year 10s at the Davis PRU in Chingford during one visit to the Unit. 4


  8. Quantitative Survey: Responses by SchoolA total of 628 KS4 students completed the survey across six schools. Kelmscott accounted for the largest proportion of the sample (23%), whilst Lammas made up the smallest (8%). Number of responses by school % responses by school 6

  9. Quantitative Survey: Gender and Age of RespondentsMore than half (55%) of the respondents to the survey were female, which is a slight over representation when compared to the gender profile for Waltham Forest (51%). A third (33%) of the respondents were aged 15, while the highest represented age group was 14 year olds, who made up 56% of the sample. Gender Age Base: 527 Respondents Balance: Not stated Base: 533 Respondents Balance: Not stated NB: The sample profile is slightly over representative of females. The Waltham Forest Gender Equality Scheme 2007/10 stated that women comprise 51.3% of the LA population. 7

  10. Quantitative Survey: Ethnicity of RespondentsThe ethnic profile of the survey demonstrates an over representation of BAME groups, with White British and White Other respondents accounting for a quarter of the young people consulted (25%). Individuals of Asian / Asian British origin accounted for a third of respondents (33%) and Black / Black British just under a fifth (18%). Ethnicity • The sample is over representative of BAME respondents. The ONS states that Waltham Forest has the following ethnic profile: • White British (55.74%) • White Other (8.75%) • Black/Black British (15.42%) • Asian/Asian British (14.75%) • Mixed Race (3.55%) • Chinese (1.79%) Base: 522 Respondents Balance: Not stated 8

  11. Quantitative Survey: Religion of Respondents83% of the young people consulted stated that they followed a religion. Just under half (48%) described themselves as being Muslim and a further 30% as Christian. All other religions accounted for 1% of the responses respectively. Religion Base: 516 Respondents Balance: Not stated 9


  13. Out of School ActivitiesThe majority of respondents were able to list activities they participated in outside school, with ‘hanging out with friends’ being the most popular pastime (75%). Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) took part in religious activities. Almost one in ten (9%) stated that they did not participate in any activities outside school. Participation In out of school activities • Higher amongst • White British (83%) and White Other (82%) • Higher amongst • Asian (29%) and Black (35%) respondents • Kelmscott School (33%) Base: 619 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 11

  14. Social VenuesIn line with the number of respondents spending time with friends outside school, the most common social venues were the homes of friends (63%) and relatives (52%). Parks were another important social venue, highlighted by almost half (48%) of those consulted. There was very little evidence of young people travelling to other boroughs (1%). Time spent at social venues Base: 616 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 12

  15. Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree Degree of InfluenceWhilst almost half of respondents strongly agreed that they were free to make decisions about their activities outside school (46%), this level of agreement declined significantly in terms of their ability to influence decisions which affect them at school (21%) or in their local area (7%). In addition, there were high levels of disagreement about being able to make a difference to how the country is run (33% strongly disagreeing). Influencing decisions Base: Shown in brackets above Balance: Not stated / don’t know 13

  16. Qualitative insights on Influence and Decision Making (1)The qualitative research confirmed that many young people at KS4 age in Waltham Forest felt that they could make decisions and have their say at school, but felt less empowered to influence other aspects of their local area. • Feedback received during the qualitative research stage tended to reflect the quantitative findings which highlighted that young people did not feel that they could influence decision making within their local areas. • This was due to not knowing who to talk to about their views, but also a belief that even if they were to express themselves they would not be taken seriously. “Not a lot (of influence on the local area)...We just get stereotyped.” (School group) “If you’re given the chance to make things in your local area change then yes, but who has the guts to give a teenager a chance?” Nobody wants to do it.” (School group) “I wouldn’t even know who to go to so I wouldn’t say anything.” (School group) • This view was confirmed by the Waltham Forest Young Advisors. In general they stated that if they were unhappy with issues affecting their local area they would discuss these with their parents rather than their MP’s. However, they did feel that they had the benefit of also being able to approach the Youth Participation Officer due to their position as Young Advisors, whereas other young people may not know how to make contact with the Council in this way. “It’s a route but the majority of young people don’t have a link with the council.” (Young Advisors Group) 14

  17. Qualitative insights on Influence and Decision Making (2) • As was the case in the quantitative survey, young people were more inclined to feel like they had a say in what happened at their school. • This was often through formal consultation structures organised by the school, for example pupil led committees, internal surveys or other consultation events. • This was, however, not always the case. Some pupils reported that although they felt able to raise concerns with teachers or other members of staff about things they were unhappy about, this did not translate into a feeling that this would result in any action, or the issues being resolved. “We do a little questionnaire and everyone answers it on behalf of their year and speaks out about stuff people have complained about, so that’s good.” (School group) “We have JLT meetings where we can have a say on things.” (School group) “If I told a teacher something I don’t think anything would happen.” (Christian group) 15

  18. Communication RoutesIf the young people surveyed felt unhappy about an issue in their local area they were most likely to speak to a parent (47%) or friend (44%). In general, respondents preferred informal communication routes rather than organising petitions or attending meetings. A fifth (20%) of the individuals consulted were unsure how to express concern. Dealing with issues affecting the local area Base: 614 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 16

  19. Key Findings: Participation, Decision Making and Communication • 75% of young people suggested that hanging out with friends was the most popular out of school activity. • This was supported by limited use of formal recreational facilities, with 63% and 52% instead suggesting their time is spent at friends or relatives houses respectively. • There was also limited travel, suggesting that young people of this age stay close to home and have limited experience of other areas or communities. • 77% of young people agreed that they can influence decisions within school, which is supported by activities such as pupil-led committees, school surveys and consultation events. • In contrast, 20% of young people indicated they did not know where to turn when dealing with issues that affected their local area. • Almost half (47%) of respondents stated they would speak to a parent about these issues rather than trying to engage with the Council or other professional advocates. • This was seen as contributing to a feeling amongst the young people surveyed that they could not influence decision making within the local area once outside the school environment. • Therefore, there was seen to be a need to help young people in this age category understand the channels available for expressing their views and to invest more in communicating how their views are used to change things in their local area. 17


  21. Not at all Not very strongly Fairly strongly Very strongly Sense of BelongingThe young people surveyed felt a much stronger sense of belonging to their friendship groups and peers than the wider community (58% and 46% respectively stating that they felt a very strong link to these groups). They were also more likely to feel part of London than of belonging to Waltham Forest (32% very strongly compared to 20%). Ethnic classifications were slightly more meaningful to those consulted than religious groupings. A sense of belonging Base: Shown in brackets above Balance: Not stated / don’t know 19

  22. Civic PrideOver half (53%) of the respondents stated that they felt ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ proud to be living in Waltham Forest. This was significantly lower than the proportion reporting to feel this way in the Young Voice Survey conducted in 2007 (84%). One in ten (10%) of the young people consulted stated that they were not at all proud of the area. Pride in Waltham Forest • Lower amongst: • White British respondents (5%) • Heathcote School (5%) • Higher amongst: • Kelmscott School (24%) • Higher amongst: • George Mitchell School (19%) Base: 598 Respondents Balance: Not stated 20

  23. Qualitative insights around civic pride (1)The focus groups and one-to-one interviews revealed mixed perceptions in relation to whether young people felt proud to belong to Waltham Forest. While generally acknowledging that Waltham Forest compared favourably to some other areas of London, some respondents were less proud, citing gangs as the main reason why this was the case. • Civic pride measured much lower than when a similar Young Voice Survey was conducted in 2007, with young people in this survey citing gang activity as one of the reasons why they lacked pride in their local area. • The majority of the young people who were consulted in the PRU also suggested that gang membership was an issue that affected pride as it had created ‘no go’ areas in some parts of the borough, making it difficult to feel proud of the local area. • However, there were some concerns that some people associated gang membership with pride, seeing it as a ‘badge of honour’ to be linked to a gang and therefore protecting a local patch. • Amongst the Young Advisor group there was concern that these types of values could draw their younger siblings into mixing with the wrong crowds as they did not understand the other more serious connotations of being involved with a gang. “The crime and the amount of murders that happen, it’s always displayed on the news.” (Young Advisors Group) “I’m not that proud because it isn’t a good area. There’s not one place you can go without being under threat.” (School group) “I think most people don’t see anything as pride. They just see it as a place to live, unless you’re in a gang warfare” …… “If you’re in a gang you will be very proud… too proud.” (Young Advisors Group) “There’s a lot of gang violence around here.” (School group) 21

  24. Qualitative insights around civic pride (2) • There was an indication from the Young Advisors forum that young people from neighbouring areas have more reason to be proud than those in Waltham Forest. • This was due to the services and support offered to young people in those areas, as well as the facilities available. • There were also concerns raised that this issue could get worse in the future if services were cut do to the recession, particularly education and youth services. “I think one of the things that gives Walthamstow a bad press is the lack of facilities in the sense that we don’t have a cinema.” (Young Advisors Group) “I started seeing North London helped the young people quite a lot. They get free laptops……. They give you money…. I know Waltham Forest won’t do that.” (Young Advisors Group) “Probably the education. If that deteriorated I don’t think I would be proud of the council.” (Young Advisors Group) 22

  25. Qualitative insights around civic pride (3) • However, there was an acknowledgement amongst the Young Advisors consulted that Waltham Forest was a better place to live than neighbouring areas and also that the area had improved recently. • The strength of diversity and community spirit was identified amongst most groups interviewed. “I think it’s the diverse culture and sense of community that we have here. We have the biggest high street in Europe and if you go down there every Saturday it is one massive community.” (Young Adviser Group) 23

  26. Ethnic DiversityOnly 2% of the respondents stated that they did not have any friends from different ethnic backgrounds. The majority of young people had friends who were White (89%), Black (89%) and Asian (88%). Just over half (56%) had friends from Eastern Europe. Cultural connections Base: 624 Respondents Balance: Not stated 24

  27. Community CohesionOver two thirds (70%) of the young people surveyed agreed that Waltham Forest was somewhere where people from different backgrounds could get on well together, with over a fifth (21%) definitely agreeing that this was the case. Only 5% strongly disagreed with this statement. Waltham Forest as a place where people from different backgrounds get on well • Lower amongst: • Heathcote School (8%) Base: 613 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 25

  28. Respect for Other Cultures and Religious BeliefsIt was agreed by almost three quarters (73%) of respondents that people should respect the culture and religious beliefs of others even when different to their own (60% strongly agreeing). Only a small proportion (2%) of respondents disagreed with this statement. To what extent would you agree that “people should respect the culture and religious beliefs of others even when different to their own? • Higher amongst: • Asian / Asian British respondents (79%) • Connaught (77%) and Kelmscott Schools (76%) • Females (66%) • Lower amongst: • Heathcote School (27%) • White British respondents (45%) • Black / Black British (51%) Base: 497 Respondents Balance: Not stated 26

  29. Community InvolvementAlmost three quarters (72%) of the respondents had done something to help family or friends in the last month. Three fifths (59%) stated that they had helped an elderly, disabled or sick person and a further 23% that they had helped a neighbour or someone in the local area. Less than a fifth (16%) of the young people had not done any of the community activities tested. In the last four weeks have you done any of the following things? • Higher at Kelmscott School (35%) • Lower at George Mitchell School (12%) Base: 616 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 27

  30. Key Findings: Community Cohesion • 90% of young people felt a strong sense of belonging to their friendship group as well as to others of the same age. • There was less sense of belonging to Waltham Forest as an area compared to London or their local neighbourhood. • Whist this may have contributed to a lower sense of civic pride compared to the Young Voice Survey in 2007, the qualitative feedback tended to focus on the issue of gang-related violence and its associated problems as being the main factors preventing young people feeling proud of their local area. • The cultural and diverse mix of Waltham Forest was identified as a strength of the area, with around 90% of young people indicating that they had friends of White, Black and Asian ethnicities. • 60% of the respondents strongly agreed that it was important that people should respect the culture and religious beliefs of other people and the fact that Waltham Forest was a place where people from different backgrounds could get along together was a key driver of civic pride. • Less than one in five of the respondents to the survey could not think of any example where they had helped out another member of their community over the last month. 28


  32. Quite safe Very safe Very unsafe Quite unsafe Community SafetyIn general, the young people surveyed felt safest in school (62% very safe) or whilst travelling to or from their place of learning (55%). Walking alone in their local neighbourhood after dark was seen as being the most unsafe activity (56% very or quite unsafe), with respondents evidently wary of other areas of London (49%) and different parts of the Borough (47%). Safety in situations Base: Shown in brackets above Balance: Not stated / don’t know 30

  33. Threats to Personal SafetyNearly three quarters (73%) of respondents were concerned about the threat of gangs and almost half (49%) based their fears on hearing stories of attacks and fights. In contrast, sexual harassment was a comparatively uncommon cause of young people feeling unsafe (4%). Reasons for feeling unsafe • Higher at Lammas School (89%) • Higher at Willowfield School (83%) • Lower at Heathcote School (61%) Base: 514 Respondents Balance: Not stated / did not feel unsafe / multiple responses allowed 31

  34. Perceptions of Safety on Public BusesSome respondents were able to cite specific bus routes as being particularly unsafe. The two most commonly mentioned were the ’58’ and ‘158’ routes. • 12% (12 respondents) of those that did not feel safe on public buses felt this way about all or most routes. The eight most commonly mentioned routes are listed in the table below: • Specific mentions were also given to the following areas: • Walthamstow – 16 respondents • Hackney (outside Borough) – 13 respondents • Leyton – 8 respondents Base: 97 Respondents Balance: Not stated / don’t know / feel safe on the bus / don’t use public buses 32

  35. Improving Safety on Public BusesAlmost two thirds (64%) of the respondents felt that making cameras more clearly visible would make people feel safer when travelling on public buses. A further 58% believed it would be useful to have PCSOs on the buses. However, just over a tenth (12%) of the individuals consulted did not feel there was a need to take any further action. Making people safer on buses • Higher amongst Asian / Asian British (73%) Base: 590 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 33

  36. Not at all worried Not very worried Fairly worried Very worried Main Safety Concerns Approximately two thirds of the young people consulted were either fairly or very worried about being mugged or robbed (69%), physical (68%) or sexual assault (65%), or having their home broken into (66%). Suffering violence from friends was less of a concern for the majority of respondents (only 35% expressing concern). How worried are you about the following? Base: Shown in brackets above Balance: Not stated / don’t know 34

  37. Qualitative Insights around Safety ConcernsThe main safety concerns of participants in the qualitative research were around physical attacks such as muggings and street robberies, in addition to concerns over gangs. • The quantitative survey revealed that the main safety concerns (other than gangs) were around being mugged and / or physically attacked. This finding was supported by qualitative feedback from the focus groups with a number of young people seemingly quite concerned about being a victim of a street robbery or physical assault. • It was generally felt that the reasons for such assaults were not necessarily along the lines of skin colour, ethnicity or religion, but were opportunistic attacks motivated by material gain. More serious physical attacks were often attributed to gang loyalties and ‘turf wars’. • It was evident from the PRU interviews that ‘black on black’ crime was an issue, meaning that there was a higher likelihood of being targeted by black gangs, if you were black. There was a strong understanding of which areas were ‘safe’ and which areas were high risk and this had created pockets of no-go areas within the borough. “I’m reasonably worried [about being physically attacked].” (School group) “A girl in our school was attacked by a group of girls. Girls attack girls and boys attack boys.” (Christian group) “I’m most worried about being a victim of a stabbing or a shooting by a gang.” (School group) “I’m worried about being attacked by gangs.” (School group) 35

  38. Qualitative Insights around Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (1)Worries from females around behaviour associated with sexual assault or sexual harassment were evident within the qualitative research. Feedback revealed concerns over the perceived likelihood of this happening to them in places that are quiet and isolated, predominantly based on anecdotal evidence of rates of occurrence. • The quantitative survey indicated that 65% of respondents were worried about sexual assault. As such, this issue was investigated further in the qualitative groups. • Unprompted feedback demonstrated that this was a significant issue for young people in the area and was a concern for both young women and young men (although in relation to males this tended to be due to concern for female siblings or friends rather than for themselves). • Despite this, it is important to keep these insights in proportion as a number of the young people consulted felt that sexual assault and / or sexual harassment or related physical attacks was not really an issue in Waltham Forest. • Therefore, in addressing this topic it will be important not to generate increased fears and concerns. “I think girls are more vulnerable. I am always worried about it (sexual harassment).” (School group) “Being honest, I think the boys aren’t overly worried but the girls get really worried.” (School group) “Sexual abuse is an issue here.” (School group) “Not in this area.” (School group) “It is safe… It is more safe here than it is around there (Canning Town).” (School group) 36

  39. Qualitative Insights around Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (2) • Feedback on the nature of this type of behaviour included being whistled at in an aggressive or inappropriate way, being followed or observed by older men in cars as they drove by. • Some individuals felt that the likelihood for a sexual assault or harassment to take place was increased in quiet and / or isolated locations and therefore this limited the areas they were prepared to visit on their own. • There were also a few anecdotal accounts of serious, sexual assaults. These were based on stories that had been heard in the local press and from friends. • The respondents felt that better street lighting, more CCTV cameras and more community police officers would improve the situation. However, in the meantime they often made sure they did not walk around on their own or in very small groups after dark. “Whistling, winking, maybe walking behind the girl’s back or happens occasionally, especially in alley ways in the morning.” (Muslim Group) “It happens in places where there’s nobody...Small areas and quiet areas.” (School group) “I think it’s older people (that harass the young people) in their thirties and stuff.” (Young Adviser group) 37

  40. Qualitative Insights around issues of Sexuality and Safety The young people consulted during the qualitative stage were sometimes confused as to the meaning of the word ‘sexuality’ and often related it to gender rather than sexual preference. The majority of respondents thought that being referred to as a homosexual was not a serious put down, rather a common term used in banter. • 37% of respondents to the quantitative survey indicated that they were worried about being assaulted because of their sexuality. Further discussion of this area within the focus groups revealed three key insights: • Confusion around the meaning of the word ‘sexuality’ existed to some degree, with the young people either unsure what it meant or when the term should be used. One of the more frequent responses was that sexuality meant whether you were male or female. • Potentially linked to this misunderstanding the respondents often had a quite naïve view of the word and when promoted to discuss whether it meant being homosexual or not often laughed this off and spoke about the term ‘gay’ being frequently used in conversations and banter but not linked to whether they actually knew or suspected if some was homosexual. • Relating to the previous point, a certain degree of ignorance was demonstrated towards the consequences of calling people names in this way, again suggesting that this was not thought of as being a serious insult to target somebody with. Therefore, the young people lacked awareness of how they could be causing offence by using this term. “It is just becoming a regular word now...People just use it, it doesn’t mean anything anymore.” (School group) “People use the word gay in too many ways.” (School group) “Gay people probably even say it (the word gay) because it is like slang really. Because that is what we’ve been brought up on and what we us it has just become a regular word now.” (School group) “Some people do it in a jokey way, some people do it in a serious way. It depends who you’re with, if you’re with friends or somebody else.” (Muslim group) 38

  41. Perceptions of Risk to Young PeopleOver two thirds (70%) of respondents thought that gang members posed the greatest threat to their safety, while other young people (26%) and other adults (23%) were also mentioned by around a quarter of the individuals consulted. Only 2% stated that they did not feel young people felt at risk. Threats to safety More likely amongst female respondents Base: 587 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 39

  42. Perceived Frequency of Physical and Sexual AttacksJust over two fifths of respondents (41%) felt that attacks of a physical or sexual nature were commonplace in Waltham Forest, with around one in ten (12%) believing them to be ‘very common’. That being said, a similar proportion (39%) thought them uncommon, while a further fifth (19%) were unsure. Frequency of physical or sexual attacks • Higher at Kelmscott School (17%) • Lower at Heathcote School (5%) Base: 596 Respondents Balance: Not stated 40

  43. Qualitative Insights: Time, Space and PlaceIn relation to concerns about the frequency of attacks, the young people who participated in the qualitative stage of the research felt that the likelihood of being involved in an attack was significantly increased at certain times of the day, in certain places and when alone. • Qualitative feedback from the young people consulted in the focus groups shed light on the influence of the local environment on their perceptions of safety. • Asked if there were any particular areas or times of the day that participants felt less safe, many of the young people, especially females, mentioned the following situations as being places where the threat of attacks on their personal safety were increased: • Quiet areas such as parks and back roads • Areas that are built up and have more places for people to hide • In the evening or night time “I would probably feel unsafe walking across a dark street where no shops are open, no one can see you and no one is on the road. I would probably run home.” (Young Adviser group) “Walking past alleyways because you know that walking past them at night can be scary in a way.” (School group) “The parks aren’t very brightly lit, so you don’t know if anyone is there. If you’re walking through the park to get home, there are really dark areas that have no light at all, so you don’t know if anyone is hiding there and waiting for someone to come round.” (Young Adviser group) 41

  44. Qualitative Insights: The Power of HearsayIt was evident from the qualitative research that the perceptions of a number of young people in relation to concerns over safety and crime were influenced more by what they heard in the news and from other people, such as friends, than their own direct experiences. • It was important, whilst conducting the qualitative research, to understand the extent to which the perceptions of safety and in particular the worries of the young people consulted were influenced by their own, direct experiences, or were to some extent due to what they heard from others and therefore believed to be the case. • It was clear from the feedback that for the young people in these groups their fears were based on both anecdotal evidence from their peers and from media coverage. • To some extent, both these sources were given equal weight in terms of their validity and their impact on behaviour change. • It was also noted that incidents and stories were circulated very quickly amongst peers at school, which often led to the proliferation of certain news stories that related to safety concerns and crime. “You always hear about it if a girl nearly gets raped or something. That is the first thing in the newspapers that you will hear.” (School group) “Its just the things you hear really.” (School group) “Even if you don’t read about it in the newspaper, you will always hear about it.” (School group) “You only have to be at school and it (stories about sexual assault) will go around.” (School group) 42

  45. Confidence in Reporting Crime to the PoliceMore than two fifths (44%) of respondentswere confident that if they were a victim of crime they would report it to the police. However, three in ten respondents (30%) were unsure if they would report a crime against them to the police. Just over a quarter (26%) would not have the confidence to report a crime. Reporting Crime Higher at Lammas (54%) and Willowfield (53%) schools Base: 585 Respondents Balance: Not stated 43

  46. Being a Victim of CrimeMore than half (56%) of respondents had not been a victim of crime or anti-social behaviour. Of those who had, the most common crimes were muggings or robbings (12%), house break-ins (10%) and insults (10%). It was fairly uncommon for respondents to have suffered violence or verbal abuse because of their religion (5%) or sexuality (2%). Victims of Crime Lower amongst Black / Black British (49%) Higher amongst Males (20%) Base: 570 Respondents Balance: Not stated / multiple responses allowed 44

  47. Qualitative Insights around Making Waltham Forest SaferParticipants in the qualitative research viewed more CCTV and extra police officers as being effective ways of making Waltham Forest safer. • Participants in the qualitative stage were asked as to suggest how Waltham Forest could be made safer for young people. Although there were some differences in opinion, it was generally felt that having more police on the street and more CCTV cameras would help to do this. • In relation to the police, the majority of those consulted felt re-assured by their presence and were of the view that an increased police presence would be beneficial to community safety. • That being said, there was a suggestion that more police were required to provide an increased focus on gang activity. “If you get mugged in a public place then people might not know and might not be able to help. It’s also proof, it could actually be proved that you actually got attacked by someone.” (School group) “I think there should be CCTV cameras watching all day and all night.” (School group) “I actually feel safe with the police, like if I see police in the road, I’ll be like, yeah, I’m going to walk down this road fine, no one’s going to jump out and grab me. But I don’t see hardly any police anyway.” (Young Adviser group) “I would personally say if the police were there more, like community support in the area, I think it would be safer.” (Young Adviser group) “I would feel safer if there was more Police, in the back areas as well as on the main high road.” (School group) “We need one hundred and twenty more police officers. We don’t have enough.” (Muslim group) “I think the police are scared of the gangs and don’t want to do anything about them.” (Christian group) 45

  48. Key Findings: Perception of Community Safety • 93% of the young people surveyed indicated they felt safe on the journey to and from school as well as 90% feeling safe within school. However, in terms of perceptions of safety in other areas, they had concerns about walking on their own at night and in other areas of London. • Only 12% stated they felt safe on public bus journeys and expressed the potential of increased use of CCTV and community police officers on certain bus routes to increase safety for passengers. • 41% of young people suggested that physical or sexual attacks were ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ common. Emphasis was placed on isolated and poorly lit spaces as being regarded as dangerous. Sexual harassment or assault was a concern mainly amongst young females. • Gang members were perceived as the greatest risk to young people as indicated by 70% of participants. Furthermore, concerns were identified around the risks of being mugged or robbed. • Participants expressed little direct experience of being involved in physical or sexual assaults, suggesting that they just heard about these incidents. • On a positive note, over half of the respondents had not been involved in any form of crime. However, if they were to be, less than half felt confident about reporting crime to the police. • Based on responses to the qualitative consultation this seemed to be due to a perception of low police presence in certain areas and, in some cases, a view that the police were unwilling to deal with gangs and gang related crime. 46


  50. Involvement in GangsThree fifths of respondents (58%) were of the view that more young people were becoming involved in gangs in Waltham Forest than used to be the case. However, more than a third (35%) were unsure or preferred not to comment on this issue. Proportion of young people becoming involved in gangs Particularly those from Kelmscott School (78%) and respondents aged 15 years (68%) Base: 600 Respondents Balance: Not stated 48