Last week the Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne attended a PCC-led Ministerial Roundtable Discussion on serious violence.
NATIONALLY and locally there have been increases in serious violence and organised crime groups with vulnerable young people being targeted and exploited to carry out their criminal biddings, including carrying knives.
Katy Bourne and her PCC colleagues across the UK recognise the significant challenges around knife crime and serious violence and are determined to work with government and partners to tackle it.
As well as looking at how PCCs could access some of the £100m Government funding set aside to tackle knife crime, the discussions also gave the opportunity to set out the action being taken in Sussex to combat serious violence. This included the implementation of a focused strategy and feedback on what more could be done.
In November 2018 Mrs Bourne secured £891,000 from the Government’s Early Intervention Youth Fund to implement her REBOOT programme. This will tackle serious violence by bolstering diversionary activities for young people across Sussex and strengthening community safety partnerships.
This extra funding will help the VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) sector, schools, health, statutory partners and the police engage positively with under 18s at risk of committing serious violence and those who have already come to the attention of the police.
Commenting on the roundtable discussions The Commissioner said: “This meeting with Crime Minister Victoria Atkins and Policing Minister Nick Hurd proved very useful to take a deeper look at the prevention work being undertaken by police forces across the country to galvanise their response to serious violence. We all recognised that there is a need for closer partnership working to tackle knife crime and in Sussex work has already started to provide a robust response to serious violence.
“Too often young people, many from challenging backgrounds, fall into the ‘wrong crowd’ and focus too heavily on the negatives in their life with no positive distractions. They then become prime vulnerable targets for involvement in this type of criminality. Early intervention which includes building trust with young people is key to preventing this negative outcome and will form the basis of my REBOOT model over this next year of funding from the Home Office.”
Assistant Chief Constable Nick May added: “Tackling serious violence and knife crime in our county remains, as always, a priority for us. For us this means proactively combating county lines and drugs in our community, key to this is engagement and education with our young people to address their fear in crimes and working with our partners across different sectors. It is not a policing issue alone and we work with all agencies to work together to tackle not only the crime but also the root cause.”
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