Two east London councils have successfully secured thousands of pounds of government funding to tackle serious violence and exploitation among young people.
The joint bid by Barking and Dagenham Council and Redbridge Council will see £500,000 of Home Office cash being used to fund a 18-month initiative called ‘Your Voice – Your Future’, which will focus on working with primary and secondary school pupils.
The scheme will identify children and young people who are vulnerable or at risk of becoming involved or coerced into violence or crime, or at risk of exploitation, and work with them to steer them away from a life of illegality.
Getting to the root cause of issues
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: "We’re delighted the government has recognised and chosen to put in some money for this vital programme to help support vulnerable young people.
"By working with our partners and sharing knowledge and skills, we can begin to get to the root causes of issues rather than deal with problems in later life."
The initiative has been designed in collaboration with a number of partner agencies including schools, police, health, YOS, social services, community and voluntary organisations.
The Early Intervention Youth Fund is a £17.7 million initiative announced by the Home Office in April this year, as part of the government’s serious violence strategy. The bid was part of 10 successful initiatives based in London and 29 across the country.
According to the Metropolitan Police crime data dashboard, Barking and Dagenham has some of the lowest reported crime rates in the capital over the last couple of years.