Hard work with young people earns police officer charity award

Friday, 10th June — By Charlotte Chambers

Racheal Box and PC Hayley Lazarus IMG_9186

Local Village Network’s Rachael Box and PC Hayley Lazarus

A CHARITY gave an Islington police officer an award for her hard work engaging with children last month, after she spent years supporting young people into finding more productive ways to spend their time.

PC Hayley Lazarus, a youth engagement officer at Islington police station, was given a Community Award by Local Village Network (LVN), a charity that works with young people at risk of not achieving in school or having career aspirations.

A police officer for more than 10 years and a youth engagement officer for four, she said the award meant a lot to her as working with children was her passion.

PC Lazarus said since she found out about LVN in 2018, she has been using its phone app to advise and steer young people towards a more productive way to spend their free time and build their confidence – and that the app is now being promoted by non-specialist officers across London.

The LVN app is currently offering 174 activities available in Islington, including free boxing classes for 5 to 24-year-olds run by the police, called Metrobox, along with sports opportunities and careers training, as well as networking. It is part of a bigger picture from LVN, which use it in tandem with interventions they run in schools.

PC Lazarus said: “It’s very difficult because certain young people see certain lifestyles as being able to give them certain amounts of money, and in this day and age we live in an influencer culture where everyone wants quick money and everyone wants to do this kind of lifestyle.”

Rachael Box, chief executive of LVN, said: “She goes out of her way to make sure they go on to positive pathways.”

The app, which can be downloaded on any phone, is for 5 to 24-year-olds.

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