Cabinet set to approve £700k programme for preventing serious youth violence

1 November 2019

A £700k programme focused on earlier intervention to prevent serious violence in Brent is set to be approved at Cabinet on Monday 11 November. The money will mean more boots on the ground over the next two years, with trained specialists spotting at-risk young people earlier and supporting them to make better choices.

This approach is in line with the Mayor of London's public health approach, which looks to balance enforcement with more holistic, preventative measures.

The proposed package draws on the latest thinking, which endorses earlier detection and intervention in a young person's journey, before they become caught up in gang exploitation or criminal activity.

It includes more street-based outreach workers trained to identify vulnerable young people, who may be suffering from mental health difficulties, and offer them advice and assistance.

A recent pilot found young women at risk of criminal exploitation need more support, so some of the money would go towards providing tailored 1:1 help.

The funds would extend an existing service, run by St Giles, that has successfully reduced the rate at which young offenders reoffend by 52%. If approved, it would allow St Giles to reach even more people and help to change the course of their lives for the better.

A new community liaison officer would also be appointed to act as a link between local people, the council and partners like the police and health services, among others.

Cllr Tom Miller, Lead Member for Community Safety and Engagement, said: "Serious youth violence is falling in Brent, but we cannot afford to be complacent. If approved, this new programme will build on the good work that's already getting results across the borough. By putting outreach and prevention first, we can better support young people and, crucially, show them alternatives to criminality and gangs."