More support for communities to end gang violence

Communities across England are set to benefit from a new national gangs policy, which will set out six priorities to reduce violence and prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people by gangs, the Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley announced today (Wednesday 13 January).
Nine new areas will also receive targeted support through the Home Office from experts to better understand the nature of gang-related violence and exploitation, identify opportunities for collaborative working and share effective ways of tackling local challenges.
The nine new areas to receive support from experts are:
1. Basildon
2. Grimsby
3. Harrow
4. Hastings/Eastbourne
5. High Wycombe
6. Medway
7. Sefton
8. Southampton
9. Swindon

The new policy, Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation, sets out priorities for Government to deal with reducing violence including knife crime, tackling the abuse of vulnerable people in the drug trade through county lines, creating opportunities to divert youngsters away from gangs, protecting vulnerable locations, safeguarding girls and women associated with gangs, and early intervention with at risk youngsters.
Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley said:
“Gang and youth violence has a devastating impact on young people, their families and local communities.
“That’s why today we are providing more targeted support, which will allow local police and authorities to identify how best to address local challenges and identify the right measures to tackle gang-related violence and exploitation.

“Our new policy; Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation, sets out the Government’s six key priorities to deal with what drives violence and abuse by gangs and shows the Government’s continued determination to tackle this problem. We want to work with towns across England to make this a success.

“By also expanding our successful ongoing programme we are sending a clear message to anyone involved in gang and youth violence: we are empowering the community to stop you.”
The ongoing Home Office Ending Gangs and Youth Violence programme has already helped 43 areas with tailored support and advice from a network of over 100 specialists with frontline experience dealing with gang and youth related violence.
The new policy presents a refreshed approach to ending gang violence and exploitation and has been published following challenges identified by frontline workers and organisations, including the police and National Crime Agency.
National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead on Gangs Chief Constable Dave Thompson said:

“The Ending Gangs and Youth Violence programme has helped to increase the amount of joint work taking place at local level to tackle gangs and gang-related crime.

“The new policy places greater emphasis on vulnerable groups including young people. It is positive to see a continuing focus on women and girls.”

The new Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation policy is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ending-gang-violence-and-exploitation

Adam Murcutt

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