This funding will allow the expansion of local area reviews and targeted support offered as part of the government’s ongoing commitment to Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation (EGVE).
Sarah Newton, Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability said:
Gang related violence devastates lives and I am pleased to announce further funding to tackle these appalling crimes.
It’s often the young and most vulnerable in our society who become ensnared in gang activity having been preyed upon by gang members.
This government is determined to do all we can to protect them by ending this cycle of exploitation and the crimes that inevitably go alongside it.
The £99,000 funding for 2017/18 was announced by the minister at a government forum held to bring partners – including from the police and key charities – together to tackle the issue of gangs.
It will enable a further 15 local area reviews to be conducted in regions who are experiencing gang related issues to assess their resilience and help address the issues they face.
Once the areas who will be reviewed are selected, an expert team will help local authorities and their partners map gang problems in their area, review how effectively they deal with it, and make recommendations to help improve their response.
Local areas will also be able to benefit from tailored follow on support to help them implement the suggested changes and do more to tackle the issue of gangs. This could include developing multi-agency action plans to tackle county lines, training and support, and help to develop relevant town and city centre safeguarding measures.
The funding will also support several regional strategic reviews to identify a common framework that the police, Police and Crime Commissioners and partners can agree to effectively tackle the damage caused by county lines gangs.
This further funding follows a number of measures taken by the government to reduce gang activity. This includes an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill to significantly disrupt drugs gangs by compelling communications providers to disconnect a mobile, SIM card or phone number where it can be proven they are being used in connection with drug offences. This will also protect children and vulnerable people who are being exploited as couriers moving drugs and money between suburban areas, market and coastal towns and their urban hub.
The government has also banned the sale of so-called ‘zombie knives’ and major retailers have signed up to a voluntary agreement to prevent the underage sale of knives.
This government is committed to providing meaningful alternatives to gangs, such as education, training and employment to end the detrimental impact they have on our society.