WESTMINSTER DIARY: Early intervention key to fighting youth crime - The Solihull Observer

WESTMINSTER DIARY: Early intervention key to fighting youth crime

Solihull Editorial 24th Nov, 2018   0


I was pleased to hear the good news this week from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner that we have been successful in our bid for £1.8million from the government into the Early Intervention Youth Fund to tackle the problem of gangs and serious violence in the region.

We made the bid for the £1.8million from the £22million made available by the Home Office for the next two years to prevent and tackle serious violence.

This followed a meeting we had with the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, in September, where we discussed many of the concerns of constituents about rising rates of crime and anti-social behaviour among groups of youths, which peaked in the summer months.

The bid was made jointly with the Community Safety Partnerships from across the West Midlands, made up of local public services including police, councils, fire, and health services.

The public has rightly been worried by a range of behaviours, from bikes ridden in breach of highway regulations and anti-social groups of young people, to the rising trend in knife crime.

Most importantly, however, people want to see these young people being helped to see a life beyond crime, violence and fear, and making the most of their lives.

So some of the money that has been granted will be used to mentor young people to steer them away from criminality.

The West Midlands Police will be increasing the range of Redthread, which places workers in A&E departments to identify those who may have been involved in gang criminality. These are part of a government campaign to reduce knife crime, and encourage young people not to carry knives, which far from protecting them from danger, brings them closer to it.

Victims have been known to have been stabbed with their own knives. Solihull’s new police Chief Superintendent, Lee Wharmby, is also determined to tackle these problems head on, having also lived in this community and understands the problems we face.

There are surrender bins across the region, where you can leave a knife without fear of repercussion If you have any concerns about knife crime, or someone you think may be carrying a knife and want help, please do go to: www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/knife-crime and follow the questions.

It is illegal to sell a knife to someone under 18, and illegal to carry a knife without a proper reason, or carry a banned knife at all times. Please see the website for further information, including advice for mothers who are worried about their children carrying knives. There are also charities who offer support for young men and women involved in gangs, for we all know the root causes go deep.



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