An independent candidate standing for election in Haringey has claimed Labour is not doing enough to tackle crime in the borough.

Andrew Reid, who is running in St Ann’s ward, spoke out after the murder of 17-year-old Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, who was killed in a drive-by shooting on Chalgrove Road, Tottenham, on April 2.

Mr Reid criticised Labour’s record on crime and said that, if elected, he would focus on making sure young people’s voices were heard, along with providing resources to grassroots organisations.

He said: “Labour in my ward has been in power for 20 years, so you can’t keep blaming the other party for the issues we have in our borough. That is a bit of a cop out.

“Before the Tottenham riots in 2011, I think they made a bid to cut youth provision by 70 per cent. After the riots, they reinstated it.

“The social and economic problems in Haringey demonstrate that the ruling Labour group lack an adequate response to this growing issue [crime] facing our borough.”

Mr Reid runs a theatre company, the Black Arts Productions Theatre, which helps youngsters to avoid getting involved in crime and gives them a chance to pursue a career in drama.

The theatre has achieved success with plays such as Bring Back the Love, and one of their former young talents, Duayne Boachie, now stars in Hollyoaks as Zack Loveday.

But Mr Reid complained it was too difficult to secure funding for youth projects from the council.

He said: “It is a fight to get funding, and they always make you spend it in a particular year. To get major funding it takes a lot more effort. If you want to apply for something like £70,000, that is where the struggle comes.”

Mr Reid has a three-pronged strategy to tackle crime in the borough, focusing on intervention, prevention and accountability.

He said youth offending teams should be encouraged to intervene in schools and prisons, while community groups should help prevent crime by diverting youngsters’ energy into something positive.

Finally, those in power should be made to explain what they are doing to tackle crime.

“We need to have our youth clubs run by respected members in the community, with young people playing a critical role,” Mr Reid said.

“In addition, we need to build and create centres that can offer practical skills to help our youth with employment.

“We also need an apprenticeship scheme funded by local government.

“I want to see families supported, more advice and legal services reinstated, greater prevention programmes and accountability from our local authority.

“I want events to bring young people and our community together. That is a good place to start.”

Joe Ejiofor, deputy leader of Haringey Council, said: “The new administration is committed to investing in youth services, developing a comprehensive youth offering, and putting additional money into supporting youth workers and workers with gangs and offenders.

“We did listen to the concerns of young people that were raised in a recent meeting with the mayor and an MP. This is a direction we are taking.”

Labour’s local election manifesto, launched on April 8, contains a number of commitments to support young people, including a pledge to reinvest in a directly-delivered youth service.

The party has also promised to enhance services that support young people’s emotional well-being and mental health.