Young people help Merton to promote Respect

A plan to tackle anti-social behaviour in housing estates across Merton has been given the thumbs-up by a number of young people across the borough who took part in a t-shirt design competition to promote ‘Respect’ in their neighbourhoods.

Merton Council organised the competition to coincide with the council signing up to the national Respect Standard for Housing Management. The standard is part of a cross-government strategy aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour across estates in England.

Signing up to the agreement means the council has introduced six core commitments that will help to reduce anti-social behaviour in estates throughout Merton. These commitments focus on
1. Accountability, leadership and commitment 2. Empowering and reassuring residents 3. Prevention and early intervention
4. Tailored services for residents and provision of support for victims and witnesses 5. Protecting communities through swift enforcement 6. Support to tackle the causes of anti-social behaviour

The competition was open to two age groups, 8-11 years and 12-18 years, and challenged young people to design a t-shirt that illustrated what respect meant to them.

Vernon Strachan submitted a winning design in the 8-11 year category, while Maria Augustine Barrett – with the help of her two friends Iman Giraud and Lisa Silburn – took first prize for the 12-18 year group.

Both winners took home a selection of professional artist materials as a reward for their creative efforts and both designs have been printed on to t-shirts that will be used to promote ‘Respect’ around the borough.

Councillor Linda Scott, cabinet member for housing, adult care and health says:

‘We are committed to reducing cases of anti-social behaviour in our housing estates and are working hard to rise to the challenge set out by the Respect Standards.

‘Over the past six months significant changes have taken place to address how we respond to complaints concerning anti-social behaviour. We’ve introduced six core commitments to ensure we are putting residents first and to promote early prevention and intervention techniques.

‘This competition was one way to encourage young people to think about what treating each other with respect means and for them to take ownership of their ideas and express them in a creative way.

‘I’d like to congratulate both Vernon and Maria who have done a fantastic job in designing the shirts that will help us to promote Respect across the borough in the future.’

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