Preventing serious youth violence

Community meeting on Serious Youth Violence

26 April 2018

Londoners have been shocked by the recent dramatic rise in violent deaths. A striking aspect of these devastating deaths is the high proportion of young people that are both perpetrators and victims.

On the 18th April, Mayor Sadiq Khan, Deputy Mayors Sophie Linden (Policing and Crime) and Matthew Ryder (Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement), welcomed over 150 individuals and organisations to City Hall. The aim of this meeting was to hear first-hand how to best tackle the root causes of serious youth violence.

The event was a chance for City Hall teams to find out more about the vital community work taking place for young people. It also provided the opportunity for attendees to hear how the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), and City Hall, are working to address this serious issue. Information on the Young Londoners Fund, Community Seed Fund and Victim Support Fund was also shared.

We were privileged to hear from Pastor Lorraine Jones and Mark Prince. Both spoke about the pain of losing a child and called on everyone to work together to end the violence. Stefan Brown, founder of Stop Our Kids Being Killed on Our Streets (SOKBKOOS), talked of his passion for making the streets safer for young people and the wider community. Ashley Watt from our Peer Outreach Team – who engage, inspire and gather the opinions of other young people – spoke of her experiences and determination to help her peers to make positive choices.

The discussions highlighted some key themes for us to focus on:

  • Young people must have a voice and be listened to
  • Young people must be supported to develop self-belief and the ability to work collaboratively
  • There is no single answer – everyone must work collectively across community and statutory agencies
  • Work must take place at local level and bespoke solutions must be developed for each area • The mindsets of young people, agencies and organisations all need to change
  • City Hall, MOPAC and other funders must support community organisations to access the funding and support they need to continue their vital work

So, what happens next?

This summer we are launching our Young Londoners Fund. The criteria are still being finalised and the insights from the community meeting will be used to shape this fund. This will ensure it reaches the young people and organisations who need it most. As soon as it is finalised, we will make sure that organisations have the information needed to apply.

We will continue to reach out to all communities and will give practical support to small frontline organisations trying to access funding.

It is essential that we continue this conversation, so please contact the Community Engagement Team if you would like to receive updates on the Young Londoners Fund and future meetings.