More projects to steer young people away from serious violence will be supported by the government after the Home Secretary announced the doubling of the early intervention youth fund.
The scheme, which opens for bids today (Monday 30 July), is a key commitment in the Serious Violence Strategy, and will allow communities to intervene early in the lives of more vulnerable young people.
The government will double the funding, which was originally set at £11 million. Now £22 million of Home Office money will be made available to support vital early intervention work in England and Wales over the next two years.
Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who work in partnership with Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) or the equivalent can bid for funding to deliver projects which steer young people away from violent crime.
It is a prime example of the public health - or multiple strand - approach set out in the strategy, which is aimed at addressing the causes of violence. Robust policing remains very important, but the Home Office is also working in partnership with a range of key sectors, such as education, local government, health and social services, to tackle serious violence.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Intervening early in the lives of vulnerable young people can help focus their talents on positive activities and steer them away from the dangers of serious violence.
This is why we are doubling our Early Intervention Youth Fund to £22 million. The fund will support groups at the heart of our communities who educate and interact with youths – and provide them with an alternative to crime.
We all need to work together to tackle this worrying issue and our Serious Violence Strategy is helping this joined-up approach.
Doubling the funding will allow successful PCCs and local partners to plan their work over the two years and maximise its impact in expanding existing programmes, developing innovative new schemes or drawing in additional funding.
The early intervention youth fund is one of 61 commitments which are already being delivered from the Serious Violence Strategy.
Last week the Home Secretary chaired the third serious violence taskforce, where it was announced that teachers in England would receive anti-knife crime lesson plans as part of the #knifefree campaign to teach young people the dangers of carrying knives.
Another commitment – the Offensive Weapons Bill – is currently passing through Parliament.