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Sadiq Khan funds community projects to counter youth violence

Sadiq Khan funds community projects to counter youth violence

The Mayor of London will invest £1.4 million in community projects for young people, to help break the cycle of violent crime in the capital.

The funding, announced on Tuesday, will be shared between around 40 groups, reaching 25,000 young Londoners.

Projects will focus on after school activies for young people, after a City Hall study found that 10-16 year old Londoners are most likely to suffer violence at the end of the school day.

The groups will also support youngsters suffering domestic violence, work to reduce school exclusions, and help those in prisons and young offenders institutions.

This is the first round of community funding through London’s Violence Reduction Unit - a taskforce announced last September, to bring police, community leaders and health workers together to tackle violence in the city.

The Unit is modelled on a public health approach implemented in Scotland in 2005. There, the Violence Reduction Unit saw homicides halve in just over a decade, from 137 deaths in 2004/05 to 62 in 2016/17.

Sadiq Khan said London needed to be “tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime”.He said: “While I am investing and supporting our hardworking police officers who are targeting violent offenders and removing knives and dangerous weapons from our streets, we know the best time to stop violent crime is before it starts.

“That’s why it’s vital we invest in our communities because they are in the best position to intervene at a critical moment in a young person’s life and the VRU’s funding can help provide positive opportunities and role models.”

Lib Peck, director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said community funding would play an important part in bringing down violence.

She said: “Empowering communities and giving local people the powers and resources is key to making fundamental change in a young person’s life.

“They will help us make the types of long-lasting interventions that will enable us to challenge the view that violence is inevitable and demonstrate that it is preventable.”

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