Hoops is a project to help young students feel comfortable and familiar with the police and stop the increase in gangs and knife crime. 

Ashton Riley and Ryan Cheuk, Work Experience Interns

PC Stuart Lambert, PC Lauren Shields and PC Liam O’Brian came to Woodside secondary school to help a selected group of 11 students to talk to and play basketball with officers. PC Lambert said that they use basketball to “give a human face to the police” so students can feel relaxed around police but also see them as humans and not just uniforms.

Ashton Riley and Ryan Cheuk join Hope in Haringey for their work experience weeks

Their aim is to build trust between young people and the police. Also, they want to let the young people understand the work of the police which can help young people to understand and trust the police. The officers took time out of their day off to help educate and build a bond between students and the police. In doing so it helps officers and young people to fully understand their motivations, line of work and boundaries.

Officers played basketball with the students

Playing basketball helped break the barrier between students and officers, allowing their trust and bonds to strengthen. In doing so this will help the students to be able to approach and converse with police with more relaxation and ease. Once students established a bond with the officers they went to a classroom. Here they asked questions and watched a video about what the TSG do.

PC Lambert said: “Young people usually see the uniform and think its an enemy.” The officers shared their dangerous experiences with the students, demonstrating how far they are willing to go to make London a better and safer place, not just for young people but all people.

Officers then sat with students in a classroom, answering questions and explaining the work they do

The event helped students to no longer see the uniform as an enemy, but think of it as a guardian to help people. The officers shared their dangerous experiences with the students as they explained what crimes they come across and what they do in response. In doing so, officers showed how far they are willing to go to make London a better place and a safer place for not just young people but all people.

After it ended, we thought about the message the police shared which impacted the students’ mindset towards crime and the police. It allowed officers to spread the message to not turn to a life of crime but to help enforce the law to keep London in peace. We think the students will now respect and value the police more because of their job and experiences of trying to keep peace and help young people stay out of crime and get rid of the temptations of any evil.

Hope in Haringey Police Engagement Manager, Christina Davis said “This project will run for a further three weeks with the same young people and officers. We’d like to thank Woodside School for making this possible.”