More than £18 million to tackle knife, gun and gang crime has been announced by the Home Secretary, responding to a report on knife crime projects published by Brooke Kinsella today.
The funding will be given to police, local agencies and the voluntary sector to tackle serious youth violence and prevent young people entering a cycle of crime.
The two year funding will support enforcement and prevention work by police in three knife crime hotspot areas, alongside positive activities for young people and local work to bring about long-term changes in attitudes and behaviours. The money includes up to:
* £3.75 million for the three police forces areas where more than half of the country's knife crime occurs - London, Manchester and the West Midlands;
* £4m for a 'Communities against Gangs, Guns and Knives' fund - for local voluntary organisations across England and Wales working with young people to stop involvement in knife and gang violence;
* £10 million for prevention and diversionary activities and engagement with young people at risk of becoming involved in crime, including knife related violence;
* £1 million to support the development of anti-knife, gun and gang crime materials for schools and a good practice website to enable local projects to share knowledge and expertise; and
* £250k for one further year of the Ben Kinsella fund for young people to run anti-knife crime projects in their local area.
Police and Crime Commissioners will be introduced in May 2012 and this funding will run from April 2011 to March 2013.
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
"This Government is committed to tackling knife crime. Brooke Kinsella has done a great job in highlighting what works and what could work better in trying to achieve that.
"I am delighted to announce that off the back of Brooke's recommendations we will invest money into changing attitudes and behaviour, alongside being tough on those who persist in being involved senseless crimes.
"This new funding will support vital police work where it is most needed and most importantly help young people and local voluntary organisations working at the heart of our communities."
Brooke Kinsella was asked by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to conduct a fact-finding mission into the work taking place around the country to help steer young people away from a life of crime.
Her report makes a number of recommendations including anti-knife crime presentations for school children, more data sharing between police, schools and other agencies on local issues, a best practice website for local organisations and more work with young children to stop them getting involved in knife crime.
Brooke Kinsella said:
"Over the past few months I have met so many inspirational people, young and old, working tirelessly to tackle knife crime in communities across the country. My report builds on their experiences and recommendations and I am glad it has informed the government's plans for tackling knife crime.
"I know that most young people are hard working and law abiding, and I want to make sure no other family has to go through what my family went through."
The Home Office will also provide up to £20 million towards the Early Intervention Grant (via the Department for Education) which local areas can use for crime prevention and up to £18 million for Youth Offending Teams (via the Ministry of Justice) to deliver frontline work, including knife crime prevention programmes, for young offenders.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. To view Brooke Kinsella's report visit: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/brooke-kinsella-report.
2. Prevention and diversionary activities and engagement with young people will be delivered by Positive Futures; a national community-based inclusion programme for young people aged 10 to 19. The programme is delivered through 91 projects across England and Wales in some of the most deprived communities giving young people the chance to develop the skills needed to get on a positive career path and take on roles as active and responsible citizens. For more information visit: www.posfutures.org.uk.
3. For more information on the Ben Kinsella Community Cash Awards fund visit: www.princes-trust.org.uk/communitycash.
4. More than half (54 per cent) of all violence involving knives and sharp instruments in England and Wales occurs in three police force areas -Metropolitan, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.
5. The funding for police enforcement and prevention work will be allocated to the Mayor of London and the Chief Constables of Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police for dissemination in partnership with local agencies.
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