What efforts have been taken and what programmes have been implemented to reduce the chance of a young person becoming a victim of crime? What have been the outcomes of these efforts and programmes?
My plan to tackle violent crime in London means being both tough on crime, and tough on the underlying causes of crime.
The causes of violent crime are complex, but have been made far worse by huge Government cuts to the police, schools, youth services and councils. As a result, through my £45m Young Londoners Fund I have invested in projects to provide positive activities and safe spaces for young people, including those that are at risk of becoming victims and perpetrators of crime. More than 110,000 young Londoners are already benefitting. In my recent Budget I provided a further £25m of funding to support this work, bringing the total funding to £70m.
I have doubled the investment in London’s Children & Young People’s Victim Service, extending support to include young witnesses of serious violence and domestic abuse and increased funding to hospital-based youth support services for victims of crime.
But many offenders have also been victims of crime themselves, so it is important to address the causes of their offending early; that is why I fund London Gang Exit (LGE) which supports young Londoners to exit gangs and Rescue and Response service to help young people exploited by county lines activity.
I also set up the Violence Reduction Unit, which is driving forward a public health approach tackling violence. In December, I announced an additional £3.2m in London’s Violence Reduction Unit this year and in future years. In my 2019-20 budget, I invested £1.8m per year in the VRU, starting this financial year, together with an additional one-off £5m in new funds allocated from business rates. I am increasing ongoing annual investment to £5m for the next financial year. As my Budget announcement in February made clear, I am directing £55.5m of new funding into tackling the complex underlying causes of violent crime, which brings the total additional amount invested in tackling violent crime in this year’s budget to £100.6m.