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More shops sign up for East End’s safe haven’ campaign

PUBLISHED: 17:20 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:40 05 October 2010

One shop in the scheme and (inset) the sign to look for if you're in trouble

One shop in the scheme and (inset) the sign to look for if you're in trouble

MORE shops are signing up to create a network of safe havens’ where youngsters can seek refuge from street violence in London’s East End, with 35 already listed in Tower Hamlets

By Gemma Collins

MORE shops are signing up to create a network of 'safe havens' where youngsters can seek refuge from street violence in London's East End.

There are 35 already signed up in Tower Hamlets to allow their promises to be used for those seeking help after the CitySafe Campaign was launched last week by the East London Communities Organisation.

The campaign is having its first major success in Shadwell, where 17 shops in Watney Market have signed up to work with police.

They will lock their door behind any youngster running in needing help and report all crime.

MAKE SAFE

Store owner Mohammed Isla, 29, who owns Risa Sarees, admits he and the other traders have a duty to make the market safe.

"If someone is in trouble they are given a safe place to come in and don't need to be afraid," he said.

"I have a son and don't want him to grow up in the area where he is afraid to come out the door."

He helped a scared girl earlier this year who was being harassed by a man and ran into his shop for refuge.

KNIFE CRIME

Mohammed hopes the 'safe haven' sticker in his shop window will be a message to more kids needing help.

Millad Uddin, 35 who runs Red Crystals stationary, said: "There is a problem with knife crime and drugs in the East End. But this campaign is good. It gets the community together."

Campaign members are visiting shops across East London this week to encourage more to sign up, following the launch at a rally at Mile End on July 29 and several meetings organised by community leaders with traders.

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