Violence prevention experts in Leicestershire given almost another £1 million to help steer young people away from crime

They will use the big pot of money to support young people at high risk of being drawn into knife crime and violence in 2021-22

Friday, 6th August 2021, 5:24 pm

Violence prevention experts in Leicestershire have been given almost another £1 million to help steer young people away from crime.

The county’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN) has secured the extra £934,683 from the Home Office’s Serious Violence Youth Interventions Programme.

They will use the big pot of money to support young people at high risk of being drawn into knife crime and violence in 2021-22.

Rupert Matthews, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

The new cash injection is being welcomed by Rupert Matthews, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

The funding includes £319,259 for “trauma-informed training”.

That will enable Early Help professionals improve their understanding of trauma experienced by young people they work with.

Further funding worth £232,657 will deliver new “in-reach intervention” placing experienced ‘mentors’ in police custody to engage and support young people at a ‘teachable moment’ in their lives.

The VRN has also been awarded £382,767 for a new targeted schools project so youth workers can offer young people at risk of exclusion support and intervention.

PCC Rupert Matthews said: “This funding is great news.

“It will ensure those at risk of a life of crime can receive the rehabilitation and attention they need early doors - before it is too late.

“I’ve made it clear since my election that preventing violence, particularly knife crime, is a top priority.

“The only reasonable way to break the cycle and stop a new generation of weapon carriers on our streets is to divert them from harm at the earliest opportunity,” said Mr Matthews, who lives in Kibworth Beauchamp.

“This funding will help us to make a difference.”

Grace Strong, Strategic Director of the Violence Reduction Network, said: “I am delighted the Home Office supports our work and vision for preventing and reducing violence in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“Timely and effective intervention is critical if we are to prevent young people from becoming involved in violence.

“Our bids for funding were ambitious.

“But the Home Office has clearly seen value in our approach and the potential of these interventions by committing this level of support,” she said.

“Through this funding, we will be able to support more vulnerable young people across the city and both counties and provide the professional help and services they need to open the door to opportunity and realise their full potential.”