London’s Violence Reduction Unit funds community groups

Thursday August 22nd, 2019

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that London’s Violence Reduction Unit will be investing £1.4 million in local community groups that specialise in early intervention to tackle knife crime.Sadiq Khan

The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), which was set up by the Mayor, will provide funding for about 40 community projects that deliver interventions and provide support and diversionary activities for nearly 25,000 young Londoners in high-crime areas.

The projects, which will be the first to be funded by the VRU, will provide mentoring, counselling, school-based education schemes and community diversionary activities over the course of the next year for young people aged 10-21.

The projects will be funded by the VRU, whose public health approach is focused on building the capacity of local organisations that work with young people to prevent and reduce violent crime within their communities. The VRU will carry out project reviews over the next 12 months to understand what works best and to make further decisions on where similar projects would be effective in making early interventions.

The new investment comes as London’s VRU secured £7m funding from the Home Office for a series of programmes and initiatives to tackle all forms of violence in the capital.

Areas that the VRU will focus its attention on in the coming months include:

  • Expanding after-school provision in high-crime areas – following data showing that violent incidents involving young people aged 10-16 are more likely to happen at the end of the school day.
  • Supporting the transition from primary to secondary school.
  • Creating a programme to reduce school exclusions by piloting a programme of inclusion and nurturing as developed in Glasgow where exclusions were reduced by 81 per cent over the last decade.
  • Extra support for young people affected by domestic violence.
  • Investing in London’s youth workers by developing a programme of training and development to support and grow their profession.
  • Working with young people on establishing a Young Persons’ Action Group to feed into decision-making by the VRU
  • Piloting programmes in prisons and young offender institutions.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:

“I am determined to do everything I can to tackle violent crime in our city and that means being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

While I am investing and supporting our hardworking police officers who are targeting violent offenders and removing knives and dangerous weapons from our streets, we know the best time to stop violent crime is before it starts. That’s why it’s vital we invest in our communities because they are in the best position to intervene at a critical moment in a young person’s life and the VRU’s funding can help provide positive opportunities and role models.”

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