What the children of Hove have to say
We visited St Andrews Primary School in Hove. We worked with both of their Year 6 classes, that’s 60 children aged 10-11 years of age, teaching assertiveness and personal safety techniques and awareness.
The children were asked what they felt were important issues for their community and what affected their safety. I then went to the Hove Local Action Team meeting, (called LAT for short). These meetings have people there who want to listen to your concerns about your community and help make it better like Councillors and people from the Council responsible for street lights and bins. All areas in Brighton and Hove have a LAT. You should make sure the adults you know are aware of them as they may like to go!
Here is what the children I met in Hove had to say and what Hove LAT are doing to make things better.
Street Drinking and Smoking
Many of the children indicated that they felt unsafe when they saw people drinking alcohol and/or smoking in the street. The children considered street drinking to include those visiting pubs and other places and standing outside them smoking and drinking, in addition to those on the street drinking alcohol purchased from a shop.
The children talked of particular places they have to pass on route on their way home from school where they see people drinking and smoking and how it makes them feel unsafe.
“You don’t know if they are a sensible drinker and have just had one or two or have had lots of alcohol and could shout at you”.
At the Hove LAT adults said similar things with certain roads being very noisy because of groups of people drinking and smoking. This is something the adults at the Hove LAT said should be dealt with as a priority. The police at the meeting asked that everyone reports any behaviour in the street that is loud at night due to people drinking or makes you feel unsafe.
Children of St Andrews School enjoy going to St Andrews Church. They were upset that people drink there at night and it makes them feel unsafe. The police said that they do move on the street drinkers that gather around St Andrews Church.
Some children were concerned that they had seen drug dealing in the street. This issue was discussed at the Hove LAT meeting and the police are urging if residents
witness any such behaviour that they report it.
Many children felt unsafe when passing empty properties such as Medina House. Again this is an issue that is on the Hove LAT agenda and being taken up by Councillor Andrew Wealls.
“I feel sad when I get my ice cream down the seafront there is the sad building with boarded windows it gives me the creeps”
Some children felt some areas had bad street lighting or that some lights were broken. This was an issue other adult residents commented on at the Hove LAT meeting.
Homeless People and Van Dwellers
The children felt concerned about whether there were enough places for people to live so they didn’t have to live in vans or on the street where it wasn’t nice for those individuals as well as making them feel unsafe when they walked passed. This is a Hove LAT priority and Councillor Andrew Wealls is representing local residents on this matter.
Many students felt illegal graffiti and groups of youths together made them feel
unsafe. This is very common feedback that I have gained across the city. A group of children in Bevendean helped to raise this as a community issue for them in a project called “Graffiti in our park makes us feel unsafe”. Please follow this link and take a look; http://www.safetynetkids.org.uk/community-safety/bevendean-safety-squad/
Having completed the personal safety risk assessing strategies with Safety Net many children are now mindful of choosing safe routes to walk.
- FREE Personal Safety and Assertiveness Training
- What professionals can do to help us feel safe!
- What the children of Hove have to say
- When the children of Hove were heard by the police
- Safety on the School Bus with Longhill School
- Safety Squads