Hackney sixth formers launch map of safe zones

Young people staged a rally in Hackney last Saturday (June 9) to mark the launch of a map showing the borough’s safe zones.

Over 20 sixth formers, who are members of the Hackney Citizens group, held a meeting at St John at Hackney church in Lower Clapton Road.

They displayed the Citysafe map which shows areas of the borough which they have been working to make safer over the past six months. These include bus routes, shops and businesses which pledged to give refuge to youngsters and report all incidents to the police.

Raquel Hortencio, 18, from Cardinal Pole School, spoke at the rally. She said: “Since I started this project I’ve been very enthusiastic. It’s a very important thing for me trying to get communities together and in peace.”

During the riots in August 2011 she was doing Citysafe work in Upper Clapton and Homerton.

“It was a bit of a contrast what was going on. I think things like the riots happen because people don’t know each other in their own community. The map helps us to know how our campaign is going and what we need to do next.”

Our Lady’s Convent High School student Isobel Wilson, 17, said: “This is something really important for my school because we are a Catholic school putting our faith into action. Serving our community is very important for us. We really try and help the community and others.”

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Events across the capital marked the 100 Days of Peace; an initiative based on the ancient Olympic truce where peace was promised for 50 days either side of the Games to let athletes travel safely.

Other celebrations included a youth football tournament in Shoreditch Park and a flash mob at Euston station.