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Late night offer reduces ASB in Poplar High Street

Last Friday 13th July, Cllr. Asma Begum (Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Equalities) and Cllr. Sufia Alam (Councillor, Poplar Ward) visited the Friday Night Project, an innovative provision that runs from 9pm to midnight, designed to tackle the spike in evening anti-social behaviour (ASB) reports in Poplar High Street.

Tower Hamlets has one of the highest anti-social behaviour levels in all of London and it’s a key concern for residents according to local grant maker, East End Community Foundation (EECF). Since 2016, EECF has been actively working, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police, Tower Hamlets Council, New City College, Tower Hamlets Homes and local voluntary sector organisations, to tackle ASB in the area.

The Will Crooks Problem-Solving Group (PSG), which devised the Friday evening provision, meets monthly to identify hotspots in the area, share intelligence and co-ordinate resources to effectively implement strategies that will reduce ASB.  Adopted from Poplar HARCA, this collaborative problem-solving approach has resulted in successfully reducing anti-social behaviour in Poplar High Street by 16%, while other wards have seen an increase.

Working in conjunction with SPLASH and the Council’s Rapid Response Team, the Friday night provision was established to offer a positive alternative to hanging around the streets.  The project then evolved to offer career path and employability guidance.  Among the 40 young adults who engage in the Friday Night Project, 9 have secured employment and 2 have secured a place at university. “I look forward to Fridays. I’ve got a place to go and not get up to silliness in the area. Then, I just go home because it’s too late to hang about.” said one of the young adults.

Owing to the success of Friday Night Project in Poplar High Street, EECF is exploring a similar approach on Isle of Dogs.

Contact Paige Murphy, Head of Grants & Community Engagement at East End Community Foundation to learn more about Vital Grants ASB Programme via 020 7345 4444 or paige.murphy@eastendcf.org