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Who's who: Holloway councillor raising Islington knife crime at Swiss peace summit

PUBLISHED: 15:41 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 July 2019

Cllr Michelline Ngongo, Islington North MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Cllr Dave Poyser and Cllr Marian Spall at the Hillrise Summer Festival

Cllr Michelline Ngongo, Islington North MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Cllr Dave Poyser and Cllr Marian Spall at the Hillrise Summer Festival

Dieter Perry

A Holloway councillor will raise the blight of knife crime in Islington when she attends an international peace charities summit in Switzerland today (Thu) until Sunday.

Cllr Michelline Safi Ngongo (Lab, Hillrise) is expected to discuss shocking crimes, such as the fatal stabbing on Nedim Bilgin, 17, in Caledonian Road in January, when she attends Initiatives of Change UK's three-day workshop at the Caux Forum.

Cllr Ngongo set up an educational charity Light Project International, off Copenhagen Street, which runs projects for all ages, but is currently looking at how to reduce knife crime in the community.

"Young people are killing each other every day," she said. "What we are doing? We are working alongside families and police, including young people, to teach them a knife is not a friendly thing to have in your hand.

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"Knife crime is killing society. One of the projects we are developing, we call it 'strengthening family, strengthening community' because the majority of our young people we work with, if we question why they are getting involved in gangs, why they are getting involved in knifes, some of them they are coming from very broken families.

"Some are good kids but think they need to carry the knife because every single young person is carrying a knife. Our duty is to change that kind of mentality. No matter who you are, no matter where you're coming from - you can't kill another person."

She believe the lack of a "good foundation" at home is contributing to the capital's knife crime crisis.

At the summit, Cllr Ngongo will be joined by Ian Monteague, chair of the grassroots voluntary Glasgow charity FARE (Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse) and Met police officer Sakira Suzia, working in youth violence in London and across the globe. Participants will hear about how Glasgow managed to beat youth violence and the knife crime problem after being branded European murder capital in 2005. The annual Caux Forum, a programme of conferences, training and dialogues, aims to help create build a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

It's held at the Caux Palace, a former Belle-Époque Grand Hotel overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps - a remarkably picturesque setting to discuss such a bleak subject.

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