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UEL Youth Workers discussing Youth Violence – Part 1 Media Influence

In this short video Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice discuss their two children Lucas and Levi who from the age of three have suffered with Epilepsy. Michael and Paul have made every possible attempt to gain access to Medicinal Cannabis since legislation altered in November 2018. Whilst they meet the very restrictive BPNA guidelines, in this instance, supply and limited access programmes are seemingly blocking progress. Like many, they want to see increased urgency from the government and a bolder approach adopted to accelerating access for children whose lives are seriously impaired and are in desperate need of treatment.      Many people will know Hannah Deacon due to the immense work she has done around Medicinal Cannabis in the UK and in bringing her son Alfie’s plight to the nation. Alfie was the first person in the UK to gain an NHS prescription for Medicinal Cannabis. In this video Hannah talks a little about Alfies background, the difficulties faced, the consequences of some of the medication given and the many personal and family challenges that had to be overcome before Medicinal Cannabis could be accessed.  It exemplifies the issues faced by so many other people, with red tape, legislation, suitability, politics, understanding and positive support all having to be built, or overcome. Alfie has made immense progress, his cognitive function has dramatically improved, he has has seen a huge reductions in his seizures, learnt to swim, ride a bike and generally seen a tremendous improvement in his quality or life and that of the entire family. Hannah wanted to share this view as she continues to campaign for greater access and address the failed enactment of the revised legislation. She discusses the many issues still to be overcome and some of the inconsistencies that exist.    We are pleased to present Epilepsy Action Policy and Campaign lead, Sam Mountney. In this video Sam discusses how the intention of Medicinal Cannabis legislation was to enable access in a safe and controlled manner. He continues by saying that whilst that was the intention, Epilepsy Action believe that the guidelines actually adopted, are too restrictive. People with Epilepsy remain unable to access Medicinal Cannabis and those with the most severe forms, continue to face extremely traumatic and very difficult situations. Sam advises that reports confirm that doctors are currently reluctant to prescribe Cannabis related drugs. Often they cite the guidelines (which provide for a very limited range of conditions) or in other cases, question the safety and suitability of Medicinal Cannabis in the absence of comprehensive research. Epilepsy Action continue to campaign to resolve this. They are working across many areas, raising their concerns with government and policy leaders, whilst supporting sufferers to push for further changes to legislation.  Most recently a draft protocol has been produced that they believe would work well for Epilepsy sufferers. Importantly this includes timely access to Epidiolex and extends to access to THC based products if there is some evidence that this would be of benefit. Sam closes by thanking all campaigners and their families for the tremendous work done and pledges Epilepsy Actions continued focus on moving this situation forward positively.In this very informative video Graham Goulden former Chief Inspector of the Scottish VRU, discusses the success of the unit and shares some insights into steps that he believes would benefit the situation in England. Graham discusses how working in the VRU changed his attitude to certain aspects of Policing and how looking at these issues through a Public Health lens changed his thinking. Graham touches on some of the outcomes achieved (reduction in homicide by 40%, more than 80% reduction in youths carrying knives) but also the many factors that led to this. By adopting a Public Health focus, the unit were able to ask why was this happening, what was contributing to the issue and how can we deal with these causes. The philosophy was to continue to learn and evolve their thinking based on evidence. Factors such as ACE’s were a major consideration on understanding how these issues impacted young people. The role of the family and how domestic violence affected behaviours outside of the home. How opportunity could be given to those who had made mistakes, how new hope could be given to those that had never had this. Graham advocates a balanced perspective. He absolutely feels people should be held to accept for their actions. He also believes we all need to understand the whats and whys and address these causal factors. In terms of the situation in England, Graham feels that we have much to learn. He feels some anger towards the many social commentators who are grandstanding over various approaches, but fail to deliver on a clear strategy and narrative. Graham discusses a series of recommendations that he would make, covering: A clear strategy that confirms the need for enforcement, but clearly seeks to focus on prevention A strategy that provides clarity for all agencies and certainty on how they are to collaborate on a shared goal A shift in the narrative that considers subtleties such as Stop and Engage, or Stop and Talk, rather than Stop and Search Clarity over the role of both statutory and voluntary agencies that follows the same narrative and a shared goal A cessation of certain media activities that present daily images of knives, which enforce a reason for fear. Instead he believes a focus on encouraging the right behaviours and norms that we wish to see in society is required A strategy that continues. Evidence clearly points to the fact that a long term and sustained commitment to this issue is needed Engagement and empowerment of communities. Graham firmly believes that the communities and the role they can play in prevention, in changing the narrative, in celebrating positives, is a critical success factor. Young people are missing from the conversation. Graham strongly advocates more young people sharing their views and opinions and being engaged in finding the right solution. Lastly Graham discusses the role of families and fathers. He advises that we need to recognise that this is a largely male issue, whether that be victims or perpetrators. That fathers and positive male role models are critical. They need to be engaged and present in the discussion.My Point of View on Youth CrimeAn insight on the causes and solutions to youth crime by Pastor and Youth Worker Kanu SorieRetired Met Police Officer of 32 years, Chris Hobbs, discusses his experiences in the Met. In this video Chris shares his view on the current rise of youth gangs and knife crime and some of the reasons for this. Chris discusses many aspects of his police career including working in Southall during a time of great tension and a prolonged period where he spent 18 months working in Jamaica. He talks about the pleasure he derived from working with the Jamaican Police force and the broader community whilst focussed on combatting drug trafficking. Chris goes on to discuss the early days of Trident and the influence of the black community in demanding solutions to violence in the late 90’s, the relationships that were built and the trust that was developed. Chris discusses his personal view on how Trident evolved, which he believes was to its detriment and that of the communities it was focussed on. Chris refers to subsequent changes in government and the substantial budgetary cuts that have been applied to the police, social services, youth support services in the last decade and how he feels these have all contributed to the problems of today.