Siddiq Bey serves as a Risk Manager to help and support vulnerable young adults in fear of their lives due to previous or current gang affiliations. He also helps young adults who are leaving prison or are at risk of offending, as well as giving support to those who have poor mental and physical health issues or are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, as he guides them towards employment and independent living.
Siddiq is a gang specialist and peer mentor.
A Londoner, Siddiq grew up in Brixton and went to school in Peckham, where he eventually became a respected member of a local gang. As a young offender he was arrested multiple times on firearms and GBH charges and was eventually sentenced for manslaughter.
Siddiq now uses his experience and knowledge of the postcode gang wars to educate and inform those young adults at risk of joining gangs as well as those already caught within the system.
He was invited by the Home Office to help launch the pilot project #Knifefree, an advocate programme designed to help local communities become knife free. His role is to give members of the community the essential skills and knowledge that will enable them to engage with those young adults who are at risk of carrying knives and to prevent them becoming victims of knife crime.
“I don’t wear my past on my sleeve, so with clients I let them speak. Then when I let them know what I’ve been through, their eyes widen because they would never know. Some of my clients are familiar to me, I love the fact that they respect me for who I am now and not for my past; I used to do what they do and it inspires them to see how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed. They also know that they can’t pull the wool over my eyes”.
DONATE NOW AND YOU COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO CHANGE LIVES
Young adult offenders often relate to those who have ‘walked in their shoes’, those who have the lived experience of the criminal justice system. The AP Foundation believe that the ex-offender community has an important role to play in resettlement and rehabilitation.
Arts, culture and media programmes are also an effective way of engaging difficult to engage young adult people in productive activities connected with their leisure interests, developing their vocational and transferable employment skills, boosting their employability and reducing re-offending.