Councillors and boxers put on gloves to fight crime

Published: 6 June 2019

Today councillors and boxers got their gloves on for the official launch of Box Up Redbridge.

Earlier this year, the council successfully bid for a £500k grant to go towards a partnership with Box Up Crime, a social organisation that uses boxing to turnaround the lives of young people who have been involved in crime.

Its innovative work has helped reduce serious youth violence in Barking and Dagenham by 25 per cent and pupils getting into trouble at school by 28 per cent.

Founded by Stephen Addison MBE, Box up Crime helps deter young people from getting involved in crime and gangs by offering a mixture of boxing training, educational training and mentoring.

The launch put Council Leader Cllr Jas Athwal, local councillors and members of Box Up in a boxing ring to showcase the ground-breaking work of Box Up and encourage children and young people to sign up.

Speaking at the launch today, Stephen Addison MBE said: “It’s not about just setting up a boxing club, it’s about creating an environment where young people feel safe and can aspire to be what they want to be - that’s what we want to do here in Redbridge. Box up crime has a clear message, we’re trying to beat up crime because crime has stolen dreams from our young people.” 

Professional light-heavyweight boxer Anthony Yarde also attended the event and during his speech said the Box Up founder is “devoted and an inspiration to young people”.

At the event, Cllr Jas Athwal said: “We really need to congratulate Box Up for their amazing work in guiding youngsters out of a life of crime and into a life filled with opportunity.  We are committed to giving our young people every possible chance to lead safe and full lives by providing the support they need to reach their potential. I’m really proud to be teaming up with this fantastic organisation which will help protect our children and young people.”

Cllr Elaine Norman, Cabinet Member of Children and Young People said: “All London boroughs have seen the devastating effects knife crime and gang culture can have on all sections of the community.  It’s our priority as a council to tackle crime and early prevention is one of the best tools we can have to steer at risk youngsters from a dangerous path.  I’m really pleased that we have this opportunity to bring the innovative work of Box Up to Redbridge so we can effectively support young people out of crime.”

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