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London hospital anti-gang project studied

Academics are looking for evidence that a hospital scheme to cut gang and knife crime is having a positive impact.

Researchers from Kingston University are analysing St Thomas' Hospital's youth violence prevention project.

Youth workers from the charity Oasis work with gang members being treated at the hospital to help them find alternatives to gang-related activity.

The project targets teenagers who are repeatedly attending A&E with injuries and arranges follow-up support.

'Positive changes'

Kingston University research associate Yael Ilan-Clarke said: "There is already anecdotal evidence, which we hope to confirm soon, of positive changes in the young people's activities, social skills and personal development as a direct result of the project."

Liam, a 17-year-old from Southwark, was put in touch with the project on his 33rd visit to A&E.

He said: "Being able to come here regularly means that I can talk out my anger, so that it don't build up.

"It helps me stay focused on working and being happy instead of getting involved in craziness and fights."

The three-year project was proposed and developed by Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and funded with £348,500 from the trust's charity.

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