A Kennington youth club is one of several in London to be given extra security to help keep vulnerable youngsters safe from violent attacks.
Aveline Street’s Alford House is one of four clubs across the city to gain funding and extra support from the Metropolitan Police scheme.
It now has heavy duty doors and an ‘air lock lobby’ which enables staff to monitor who is coming in and out, and prevent passersby from entering the building.
The police are also working with London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service to improve fire safety and to install defibrillators in ten clubs across the capital.
Tim Saunders, the Youth Club Manager at Alford House, said: “Any youth worker will tell you that they strive to carry out activity in a safe environment, both physical and emotional.
“Anything that improves safety must be welcomed.
“The new design actually makes the entrance to the club much more welcoming than before, while improving our ability to see exactly who is coming in and out.
“It’s terrific that these features lead to greater security for all who use the club, and this investment in youth clubs is most welcome.
“The parents of younger members are pleased and the older members have commented on what a good idea it is.
“This process was not without its teething problems but everything was surmountable and we even had some laughs along the way.
“I am so pleased we have benefited from this and I am delighted the scheme will be continued into the future.”
The Met says the scheme is part of its targeted activity against violent crime, particularly throughout the summer months and as restrictions ease.
Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said: “During lockdown we have been working behind the scenes to improve the practical security of these youth clubs so that young people and the local employees have safe spaces to return to now lockdown restrictions are lifting.
“My thanks go out to the assistance of our partners in making these improvements to create safer environments for young people to come together to enjoy themselves, which we hope will reduce the risk of violence around these areas.
“Targeting violent crime remains the Met’s number one priority and requires a collective effort, as seen here in the success of this scheme, to prevent acts of violence from occurring in the first place.
“This initiative forms part of the wider work officers from across the Met have been doing to ensure we are prepared and ready to tackle any violence through the summer months.”