|Seventh-Day Adventist and police march against violent crime in Lambeth||06 Sep 12:46|
Over 400 people took to the streets of Lambeth on Saturday 3 September to take a stand against gun and knife crime. In the past ten years eighty people have tragically lost their lives through gun and knife crime in Lambeth of which twenty one have been aged 21 years old or younger. Four have only been aged 15.
The march organised by Brixton Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church with support from the Metropolitan Police marched alongside community members, the Lambeth Black Families Forum and the organisation ‘Not Another Drop’.
This year’s public rally was themed ‘Be the change’ calling upon the community to begin living in ways that encourage peace towards each other. A focus was placed on everyone in Lambeth including young people to take personal responsibility in becoming positive influences among their peers. Taking this initiative to ‘be the change’ they wish to see in the world, as opposed t o passing on that responsibility and empower young people to take control of their future.
Members began the march from outside the Brixton Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Ducie Street at 12:00pm and made a procession through Brixton before assembling at Windrush Square, SW2. The march was led by the Drum Corp of Brixton and Lewisham SDA Pathfinder Youth Clubs
Upon arrival at Windrush Square the congregation and joining members of the public were welcomed by Layne Robinson who is a Youth Leader, before hearing songs and speeches from some of Lambeth Councillors, XLP youth charity, Lambeth Black Families Forum, community members and Chief Inspector Patrick Beynon of the Met Police in Lambeth.
Pastor Maureen Rock, intern Pastor of the Brixton Seventh-Day Adventist Church, is encouraged by the young people and their passion to lead a positive change within their community. She said, “Our church’s stance is that we will be a Christian presence in Brixton and beyond. This march is an expression of the unity we want to see in the community. This march is our way of saying we are joined in unity to enable this change to take momentum”
Chief Inspector Patrick Beynon of Partnership for Lambeth Met Police comments: “The community should unite together as we have seen today. Everyone can play a part in helping to make Lambeth a safer place to live. These murders must stop. The police alone cannot achieve this. It is only through everyone making a stand and working together that we can and will make a significant change”.
Police Sergeant Paul White of Ferndale Safer Neighbourhoods Team helped to organise the march and was on hand with his team to ensure public safety and to prevent any public disorder while supporting the important community issues being raised. PS White added; "This march has helped bring the community together in a very worthwhile cause, and will help divert some youths from gangs while sending a message that the whole community is against this violence."
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