On 9 April 2018, the Government published the serious violence strategy.
It set out an ambitious programme of work to respond to increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide.
As part of the strategy, the Government made a commitment to provide £22 million over two years for an early intervention youth fund.
The fund was open to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales as lead bidders.
PCCs were required to work with Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to bid for funding. This would support targeted intervention and prevention activity.
The aims of the funds are the following:
- Deliver services to support and prevent young people from getting involved in crime by supporting positive activities.
- Deliver positive outcomes for young people, focused on addressing risk factors which are linked to serious violence.
- Build on, and develop understanding of what works in practice for tackling these risk factors.
- Drive improved local multi-agency partnership working; and most crucially.
- Reduce levels of serious violence and crime.
Four key themes
The Cleveland OPCC were successfully awarded £546,250 set across 4 key themes:
- Prevention – with a focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
- Early Intervention – ensuring a co-ordinated, targeted approach that is needs/ intelligence led and based in locations where young people are vulnerable to violence, including interface violence.
- Targeted Intervention – This will deliver coaching, counselling and restorative services to young people/families. The aim is to restore relationships and empower participants to take control of their lives.
- Those at risk of entering the Criminal Justice System (CJS.) This funding is linked with the Cleveland Divert. Divert is a deferred prosecution scheme. As part of the programme, a specialist 18 to 24 navigator will be introduced. They will work to divert first time offenders from this age bracket away from the CJS.
The project will be independently evaluated to determine future best practice and ways of working.
This will be conducted by an evaluator appointed directly by the Home Office.