Camden News - EXCLUSIVE by SIMON WROE Published: 7 August 2008
EX GANGSTER HIRED IN BID TO HELP KIDS
Council defends move to recruit reformed ‘LA Blood’
FORMER gang members are being recruited into paid jobs by council chiefs in the battle to beat youth crime. In the first scheme of its kind, an ex-gangster from the notorious LA Bloods – a lawless gang which has caused havoc in the United States – has been given the job of bridging the gap between gang affiliated youths and the law in Camden.
Nakuja Guyan said his job as one half of the recently formed Youth Disorder Engagement Team was “to wake up” the borough’s teenagers before they slip into gang culture.
He added: “The kids here are very saveable, but they need to realise that being in a gang is not a glorious life.”
Council bosses defended their decision to employ people with “the word on the street”, announcing plans to enlist more youth mediators with chequered pasts.
Crime czar Tony Brooks said: “We wanted people with the knowledge of the streets, someone prepared to walk alongside a police officer and get their hands dirty. Nakuja has made his background clear and that is attractive to us. It’s the people on the streets that can engage with the young people.”
I would have thought there were sufficient numbers of young people living in Camden who would be adequately qualified to fill this position without having to import from the U.S.A. Neil Woodnick