A fast food restaurant aims to be a 'safe haven' for young people seeking refuge from knife crime and street violence.

The McDonald’s branch in Highbury Corner visited Samuel Rhodes School on May 9 to explain its Safe Haven policy to students.

If young people feel “unsafe”, they can seek help from managers at the restaurant until police arrive.

One student said that it was “really good” to know that McDonald’s would help if they were to ever “feel unsafe”.

The session was run as part of the Children’s Safety Education Foundation (CSEF) Respect programme, which covers issues surrounding knife crime, conflict resolution and diversity.

Pupils at the Islington school were also given booklets published by CSEF and funded by McDonald's.

The Respect: 'Your Life, Your Choice' booklets have helped more than 2,000 students in 10 secondary schools across Islington and surrounding areas.

Amir Atefi, who owns several McDonald's franchises in London, said: “This book…gives lots of positive advice and guidance about how [young people] can make the right choices and decisions that help keep us all safe, which will have a positive benefit for everyone in our communities.”

Mary McKoy, a teacher at Samuel Rhodes School, said that the programme had been “a breath of fresh air” in the way “it targets issues directly related to young people”.

Michael Fitzgerald, from CSEF, said: “As part of the Respect Programme we encourage young people to challenge stereotypes, consider opposing viewpoints and examine citizenship issues.

“We are delighted to receive this support from McDonald’s, which will enable us to continue our vital work in the community.”