£5 million fund to deter young people from gang and knife crime

Families across the country who are vulnerable to the devastating effects of knife crime and gang culture are set to receive more support from a new £5 million fund announced today (20 October).

The Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund will allow keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people to intervene earlier to help them develop the personal resilience to withstand peer pressure and make their own positive life choices.

It will also support more in-depth work with parents and carers to help them fully understand the risk factors and dangers of their children becoming drawn into gang crime.

Councils will be able to bid for funding to bolster their response to youth violence and gangs in their local area, as part of their Troubled Families programme.

The fund builds on the Government’s wider support available to tackle serious violence which includes a £22 million Early Intervention Youth Fund and a £1.5 million Anti-Knife Crime Community Fund.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said:

“Knife crime and gang violence can devastate the lives of young people, families and their communities.

“Carrying knives must never become normal behaviour and we need to change the culture among many young people.

“Early intervention and prevention is vital to tackling violence. That is why I am announcing £5 million to support initiatives which are helping young people to take a positive direction in life.”

The Government has committed £920 million to the Troubled Families Programme, which aims to achieve significant and sustained improvement for up to 400,000 families with multiple high-cost problems by 2020. The programme champions working with the whole family, ensuring they receive coordinated support from services working together to solve their problems as early as possible.

The programme which works with the whole family has achieved significant progress with:

  • Nearly 130,000 families meeting the improvement goals agreed with local services against each of the problems they need to overcome;
  • In 16,925 of the families where such progress has been achieved, one or more adult has succeeded in moving into continuous employment; and
  • The programme’s focus on preventing poor outcomes for children in troubled families has started to show positive results including reducing the number of cases that need to be escalated to children’s social care.

The fund will come into effect immediately, underpinning the Government’s ‘public health’ approach to tackle the root causes of serious violence underpinned by the Serious Violence Strategy. This includes new measures recently announced by the Home Secretary:

  • A consultation on a legal duty for public services like health, education and welfare to tackle serious violence;
  • A £200 million Youth Endowment Fund aimed at steering those most at risk of youth violence away from becoming young offenders; and
  • An independent review into drug misuse.

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