Beyond the Streets is a research project conducted by young migrants between the ages of 14 and 19. It is part of a peer-led research project run by the Refugee and New Migrant Family Project at our New Londoners programme. The aim of Beyond the Streets - which resulted in a film and a report - was for the young people to conduct research on a topic of their choice and by doing so, enhance their skills, knowledge and confidence. 

The project trained 20 young people in communication and research methods. They then chose a topic to examine that was of interest to them. They decided how they would like to research the topic and what questions they wanted to ask. The young people wanted to explore their experiences of crime, why young people might get involved in crime and what the possible solutions would be. They wanted to concentrate on their experiences as newcomers to the country and how young migrants may be affected by crime.

Young people-led research

The young people conducted 50 interviews with other young migrants, and professionals such as teachers and police. They asked questions regarding whether the interviewee had experienced crime, why young people might end up getting involved in crime and what solutions could be proposed.

The results of these interviews are shown in the report Beyond the Streets: Young Migrants’ Solutions to Street Crime which was written by the young people. 

The group decided that they wanted to produce a drama which incorporated their findings as it was a more powerful way of getting their message across. Their film Beyond the Streets (watch) was made by the young people, with support from The Children’s Society and Kazzum.

Watch Beyond the Streets

(Alternatively, you can watch Beyond The Streets on the Vimeo website.)

Research findings

This peer-led research project has shown the degree to which young migrants are affected by crime and the challenges that young people new to the UK face on a daily basis. These young people want to feel welcomed to their new country but sadly this is often not the case. A lack of friendships and language barriers can make their new lives difficult and often young migrants feel marginalised and isolated. It has highlighted the need to take preventative measures ensuring that young migrants feel less isolated, more welcome and better supported. 

This research has also shown that young people struggling to survive on low incomes may find themselves getting involved in criminal activities to support themselves. This has demonstrated the importance of our work with young people and families from migrant backgrounds ensuring that they are receiving the support they are entitled to and advocating for more sufficient support to be in place.