Skinnyman condemns closure of youth projects

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A local grime artist has slammed the closure of youth projects in Islington, saying it will lead to an increase in crime.

Skinnyman – born Alexander Graham Holland – the 39-year-old artist of 2004 album Council Estate of Mind, grew up on Six Acres Estate in Holloway. He told Islington Now that cuts affecting youth projects in the borough were “detrimental to the future of our children’s recreational hours.”

Old Street’s KCP Youth (King’s Corner Project), which has been open since 1983, is being forced to close due to the cuts.

He said projects like this shutting down are negatively impacting young people.

“If there’s nothing good to do, then they can only get up to badness,” he said.

He added: “You’d probably find that they could give you an ‘A’ with distinction on high street fashion labels and brands. They could probably give you ‘A’ with distinctions on social issues in relation to what they see on Jeremy Kyle.”

Skinnyman, who spent 16 months in prison himself for threatening his ex-girlfriend and attacking her car with a hammer (though he denies this), also said the police response to the surge in youth crime is alienating young people.

“With a child who’s subjected to weekly routine sexual harassment by the police within the local community under the laws of stop and search, by the time he’s 14 and all he’s been trying to do since he was 16 is be a good boy, he’ll have built up some sort of psychological resentment to the police who we’re supposed to be able to turn to to protect and serve the public.”

He said this is not a new problem but one that has been going on for a generation.

“Those teenagers that had children twenty years ago have teenagers now going through the same thing that they went through when they were teenagers,” he said.

“They can totally sympathise with their children’s feeling towards the police,” he added.

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