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Children and young people, Community Safety, Democracy

Lambeth bids for extra cash to tackle youth violence

Lambeth Council is calling on the Mayor to approve a bid for £100,000 of extra funding to help tackle gun and knife crime in South London.

The move follows growing concern in the local community after the recent wave of violent incidents. The council has put in a bid for £280,000 of extra cash jointly with neighbouring Southwark, and the Police to help communities tackle youth violence. Lambeth plans to match fund the bid with £100,000 of council money if the Greater London Authority (GLA) approves the bid. This could mean Lambeth will have an extra £200,000 to fight serious youth violence in the next 12 months.

At the same time long-term solutions to gun and knife crime will be discussed at a Community Leaders’ Forum at the Town Hall on Thursday, July 14. Representatives from across the community will come together to explore fresh ideas and new initiatives which reflect the priorities and interests of residents. These views will be turned into a plan for action at a summit to discuss serious violence led by Lambeth Council Leader, Cllr Steve Reed. The summit will be attended by residents who have experience in helping young people to escape gangs, community leaders, local MPs, members of the Safer Lambeth Partnership which includes the council, police, and partner agencies on Monday, July 18.

“The violence must end. Only by putting communities at the heart of the problem can we ensure effective, long-term solutions to gang violence. This community project is about uniting people through our determination to oppose violent crime.” said Cllr Rachel Heywood, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety.

“We will do everything in our power to shield this borough from the escalating violence that has swept Lambeth in recent months. It is a minority of people who are committing these crimes but they have a devastating impact on family, friends, and the community. We have turned to the community to help us find the solutions to these problems.”

Lambeth Council could discover whether the bid to launch its ‘Communities against Guns, Gangs, and Knives’ project has been successful as early as next week. The GLA recently announced £1.1million is available for 14 London Boroughs to target youth violence over the next year. The project aims to discover effective, long-term solutions to gang violence by reaching out to the communities most affected. Influential community leaders will be trained by the council to connect with young people and families under the plans. They will target young people already engaged in serious youth offending and help prevent others at risk of following in their footsteps. A support service for parents and families suffering from poverty and social marginalisation and the creation of community groups in areas where gun and knife crime has escalated is also proposed.

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