Nearly 1 million pounds has been allocated to projects to help tackle youth violence, knife crime and exploitation across the Thames Valley.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, has awarded £800,000 to 14 organisations, including schools and youth offending teams, in a bid to reduce violent crime.
Awareness of youth violence and exploitation will be raised in secondary schools, while more targeted work will be carried out with young people already involved in gangs and knife crime.
The news comes after The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner was awarded £822,000 by the Home Office’s early intervention fund – with programmes set to be rolled out across Bucks, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
The fund was launched as part of the government’s serious violence strategy and pledges to make £22 million available over two years to police and crime commissioners across the country to prevent and tackle serious violence.
Other organisations involved include community safety partnerships, youth service providers, local authorities as well as community and voluntary groups, according to a report due to be presented to the TVP Police and Crime Panel on Friday.
Funding has also been allocated to projects tasked with tackling exclusion rates in schools, youth outreach work as well as one-to-one and group programmes to help young people involved in crime.
Matthew Barber, deputy police and crime commissioner said: “Given the recent increase in knife crime, we need to look at what more we can do to protect young people from violence and exploitation and how we can work even more closely in partnership with both statutory and community organisations to try to reverse this trend.
“I hope that these projects we’ve funded will help tackle this issue by working with young people at both ends of the spectrum of youth violence; from early intervention programmes to identify and support those at risk of involvement in knife crime, gangs or drug dealing to supporting those young people already involved; helping them turn their lives around through intensive support and skills training.
“I believe that projects such as these make a real difference to the lives of individuals and communities as a whole and I look forward to seeing these activities progress over the coming months.”