The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has awarded £800,000 to 14 organisations across the Thames Valley to deliver projects to tackle youth violence, knife crime and exploitation.
In November the Office of the PCC was awarded £822,000 from the Home Office Early Intervention Fund and is now leading on rolling out a programme of activities across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.
The work will be delivered in partnership with a range of organisations including Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs), Youth Offending Teams (YOTs), Youth Service providers, Local Authorities and Secondary Schools, as well as community and voluntary groups.
The programme includes a range of interventions, from raising awareness of youth violence and exploitation across secondary schools to targeted intervention with young people already involved in gangs and knife crime.
To successfully deliver this work the PCC made available grant funding opportunities to organisations who can provide these interventions.
Organisations who have been successful in their bids for funding from the programme to deliver activity across the Thames Valley include:
- AlterEgo Creative Solutions – to deliver a ‘County Lines’ theatre performance to secondary schools, raising awareness of this issue and signposting young people to advice and support
- Crimestoppers – to deliver workshop sessions via their youth service Fearless, educating young people on gangs, knife crime, and county lines to reduce the risk of them becoming involved in criminality
- Reach Every Generation – to deliver training sessions about gangs to professionals that work with young people, sharing real life experiences to raise awareness and upskill staff
Funding has also been awarded to a number of organisations to deliver local activity, such as working with schools to tackle youth exclusion, youth outreach work and one-to-one or group programmes with young people involved in gangs or crime.
Matthew Barber, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner said ““Given the recent increase in knife crime, we need to look at what more we can do to protect young people from violence and exploitation and how we can work even more closely in partnership with both statutory and community organisations to try to reverse this trend.
“I hope that these projects we’ve funded will help tackle this issue by working with young people at both ends of the spectrum of youth violence; from early intervention programmes to identify and support those at risk of involvement in knife crime, gangs or drug dealing to supporting those young people already involved; helping them turn their lives around through intensive support and skills training.
“I believe that projects such as these make a real difference to the lives of individuals and communities as a whole and I look forward to seeing these activities progress over the coming months.””
The Thames Valley Early Intervention Youth Fund programme is managed and overseen by the Office of the PCC with partner organisations assisting on the delivery and monitoring of individual projects at a local level.
A full list of organisations to receive funding can be found below.
Thames Valley wide:
- AlterEgo Creative Solutions
- Crimestoppers (Fearless)
- Reach Every Generation
- Berkshire Youth
- Adviza Partnership
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes:
- Milton Keynes Youth Offending Team
- Milton Keynes Council (Youth Faculty)
- Buckinghamshire Youth Offending Service
- RAW Workshop
- Youth Ambition (Oxford City Council)
- Didcot TRAIN