29 projects endorsed by Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales will receive £17.7m over two years to divert children and young people away from violent crime.
The projects will include work with children and young people at risk of criminal involvement, organisations safeguarding those at risk of gang exploitation and county lines, or who have already offended to help divert them into positive life choices.
Announcing the recipients, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“As well as taking immediate action to curb knife crime, we need a longer-term approach to prevent our young people from getting drawn into a life of crime in the first place.
“That is why early intervention – alongside tough law enforcement – is at the heart of our Serious Violence Strategy.
“This money will fund a range of projects that focus on diverting vulnerable youngsters and those who have already offended away from crime.”
The Early Intervention Youth Fund follows the innovative new measures announced by the Home Secretary last month:
- plans for a new legal duty to underpin a ‘public health’ approach to tackling serious violence, for which a consultation is due to be launched shortly;
- a new £200 million Youth Endowment Fund, to be delivered over 10 years; and
- an independent review of drug misuse to ensure law enforcement agencies and policy teams are targeting and preventing the drug-related causes of violent crime effectively.
The Government also continues to deliver the 61 commitments outlined in the Serious Violence Strategy.
An Offensive Weapons Bill to restrict access to dangerous weapons is currently before Parliament, a new £3.6m National County Lines Coordination Centre to disrupt violent drug gangs was launched in September and a £1.4m social media hub to identify and take down online material inciting violence will open early 2019.
Welcoming the grant allocation, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael, said: “I am delighted that the allocation of over £1.2million from the Early Intervention Youth Fund will allow us to carry out work across Wales to tackle some of the very serious issues facing our communities.
“The project will involve reducing drivers of serious violence among young people, their involvement in drug dealing, County Lines activity and the prevalence of carrying knives. It will help young people make informed decisions about crime and the consequences of crime on a young person’s life and future prospects.
“We will achieve this through direct youth support intervention programmes, media campaigns as well as by diverting those at risk into sporting and peer support interventions.
“The successful bid to the Home Office once against demonstrates the benefits of co-operation between the four Police and Crime Commissioners and the four Chief Constables to come up with innovative projects to tackle these very serious issues affecting young people in Wales.”
29 projects supported over two years with nearly £18m from the Early Intervention Youth Fund
The projects will focus on work with children and young people at risk of criminal involvement and exploitation or who have already offended to divert them into positive life choices
Early intervention measures to be implemented alongside toughest possible law enforcement response.
Image: By HM Government (https://www.gov.uk/government/people/sajid-javid) [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)], via Wikimedia Commons