Crimes of Violence: Young People

Home Office written question – answered on 25th January 2018.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prevent young people committing violent crimes.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Government is delivering a range of action to prevent violent crime including action to tackle knife crime and gang related violence and exploitation.

Our work to tackle knife crime includes early intervention and prevention work with key partners such as the charity Redthread who intervene with young people in hospital at the ‘teachable moment’. We have awarded £765,000 from a new anti-knife crime community fund launched in October 2017 to support local communities to tackle knife crime. 47 different projects have been supported through the community fund, and the projects awarded funding were particularly aimed at helping young people.

We are also supporting the Operation Sceptre national week of action by police forces to tackle knife crime which is taking place in February. Police forces will be undertaking weapon sweeps, targeted stop and search operations, undertaking test purchasing, encouraging the use of surrender bins, and carrying out educational activities with young people.

Through the Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation (EGVE) programme the Home Office is providing match funding for local area and strategic reviews in areas experiencing gang related issues and challenges to test and build local resilience towards tackling these types of criminal activity, especially county lines. 13 local areas were reviewed in 2016/17 and a further 15 areas are benefiting from these reviews in 2017/18. This supports our wider work to tackle county lines and especially preventing young people becoming offenders or victims through county lines drugs dealing with its associated violence and exploitation. The new Drugs Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Orders (DDTROs) introduced in December will also help tackle county lines drugs dealing.

We have provided funding for 12 Young People’s Advocates to work directly with gang-affected women and girls. We have also provided funding in 2017/18 of over £280,000 to 16 local EGVE projects, including projects delivering gang, knife and county lines awareness training for young people, practitioners and foster carers, community sports and arts projects and mentoring programmes.

An action plan to tackle the use of acid and other corrosives in violent attacks was announced by the Home Secretary in July 2017. This included actions to improve the policing response and also the introduction of a voluntary set of commitments for retailers to not sell certain particularly harmful corrosive substances to under 18s. The agreement with retailers was introduced earlier this month.

The Government will be publishing a Serious Violence Strategy shortly.

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