Home Secretary to give Cheshire more than £400,000 to spend on early intervention youth projects
The Home Secretary announced that Cheshire has been given more than £400,000 to spend on a major project that will tackle the root causes of violent crime among children and young people.
The project will involve a new outreach team to work with young people involved in drug dealing across Cheshire, and working with schools and families to keep young people at risk of falling into crime in mainstream settings and in positive alternative activities.
A programme of training will also be delivered to school staff so they are enabled to support and divert young people away from gang associated violence.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“In order to put an end to this senseless violence we must have a long-term plan that stops young people from turning to a life of crime in the first place.
“That’s why our Serious Violence Strategy combines both early intervention with tough law enforcement.
“This money will play a vital role in providing vulnerable young people in Cheshire with support and opportunities that will steer them away from a life of crime.”
David Keane, Cheshire PCC, said:
“Cheshire Constabulary and partners are very committed to protecting the public of Cheshire, and I am really pleased that we have managed to secure a significant funding boost for Cheshire to support our objectives to prevent serious organised crime and protect the vulnerable.
“The Home Office funding will provide the capacity for enhanced preventative working with young people aged 11 to 17 years who are at high risk of exploitation by criminals as a consequence of County Lines drug dealing, or other forms of violent organised crime in Cheshire.
“This ambitious approach will focus on early interventions in the lives of young people; reducing their personal risk from violent crime and providing them with positive ‘alternatives’ which will significantly enhance their future prospects as well as making our communities a safer place.”
The funding for Cheshire is drawn from the final £3.3 million allocation of the Early Intervention Youth Fund.
The Government previously allocated £17.7 million of the Early Intervention Youth Fund to 29 projects endorsed by PCCs in November 2018. In addition, further funding was provided to PCCs for additional specific projects as well as £544,900 to the Evening Standard Save London Lives campaign.
The news comes after the Home Secretary today chaired another Serious Violence Taskforce to discuss the importance of early intervention youth projects. The taskforce was also attended by Victoria Atkins, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, and Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service.
Speakers at the taskforce included Bill Bush, Executive Director at Premier League, who spoke about the success of Premier League Kicks, a community programme that uses football to inspire and engage thousands of young people in deprived areas in England and Wales.
The Home Secretary also announced an additional £1.5 million of funding for the third year of the Anti-Knife Crime Community Fund.
The money will go towards community projects to reduce knife crime and have positive impact on young people at risk of carrying a knife and committing crime. The fund has already supported 115 projects over the two years it has been running, to provide a wide range of approaches that help young people avoid being drawn into knife crime in their local communities.
The community fund first launched in October 2017 and is now open to bids from grassroots organisations and trusts for the third year of funding.
The Early Intervention Youth Fund and the Anti-Knife Crime Community Fund follow a number of new measures recently announced by the Government to tackle violent crime, including:
• Up to £35 million to 18 PCCs in areas worst affected by serious violence to set up Violence Reduction Units.
• An additional £63.4 million of surge funding to forces across England and Wales that are worst affected by serious violence and knife crime, and £1.6 million to ensure police forces have better data to help their planning.