First anti-knife crime projects to benefit from new £1.4m fund
- Original £250,000 funding pot increased to £1.4m as part of Sadiq’s commitment to supporting young people and communities tackling knife crime
- First nine projects announced today, with further projects to be announced later this spring
Nine community and grassroots anti-knife initiatives across London have received a share of £250,000 from City Hall as part of the Mayor’s comprehensive strategy to tackle violence and knife crime across the capital, with a further £1.15m to be awarded later this spring.
The successful groups work with young people to help prevent and protect them from knife crime. They include a boxing club in Brixton, music training in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, and support workshops and activities in Croydon, Southwark, and Lambeth.
The funding is part of Sadiq Khan’s comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy published in June 2017, which included a £250,000 Knife Crime Community Seed Fund. Since then, Sadiq has provided an additional £1.15m for these projects through his new Young Londoners Fund, taking the total to £1.4m.
The first nine projects to benefit are:
- Croydon BME Forum - £49,736 to deliver training and support to five grassroots organisations who provide activities for people affected by knife crime in Croydon, reaching at least 60 people
- Somali Relief and Islamic cultural centre - £6,337 to deliver five community consultation events for 100 Somali parents and young people in Southwark to raise awareness of knife crime
- Hammersmith and Fulham Anti-Tribalism Movement - £31,173 for the Anti-Tribalism Movement to work in partnership with Council of Somali Organisations, delivering the ‘Quit Knives Saves Lives Desistance Programme’. This programme is a much-needed programme to tackle the spike in anti-social behaviour affecting young Somali men living in London.
- Mancunian Way - £8,650 to deliver an outreach project from a community centre reaching around 100 young estate residents engaged in or at risk of knife crime in Hackney
- Dwaynamics CIC - £49,780 to provide boxing and health activities to 192 young people in Lambeth and run a series of knife crime workshops
- The Flavasum Trust - £14,016 to deliver awareness-raising workshops to 4,000 pupils in 20 London schools in areas worst affected by knife crime, including Newham, Lambeth and Tower Hamlets.
- Raw Material Music and Media Education - £34,498 to support 50 young people in Brixton who are offenders, or are at risk of offending, to engage in creative activities and training and employment workshops over 40 weeks
- WISE Youth Trust - £20,000 to deliver workshops, music production and digital media skills courses for 150 young people in Hackney and Tower Hamlets
- ML Community Enterprise - £32,664 to deliver a therapeutic support project for 24 young male and female victims of crime and violence in Lambeth
During the development of the Mayor’s Strategy and his new anti-knife crime campaign, ‘London Needs You Alive’, many of the young people consulted said they want to be engaged with by people from their communities who they know and trust, and who have experienced some of the same issues and challenges around knife crime.
With that in mind, the community funding has been boosted to £1.4m by the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund, created by Sadiq to support education, sport and cultural activities for young people to help tackle knife crime and youth violence, which has been rising across the country since 2014. In contrast to this investment by the Mayor, central government continues to cut vital services including £22m from London’s youth services since 2011, which has resulted in the closure of some 30 youth centres that had served at least 12,700 young Londoners*.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “As Mayor, I’m doing everything possible in London not only to be tough on knife crime, but tough on the causes of knife crime too.
“City Hall has stepped up where the government is letting our young people down. We are providing unprecedented additional funds to the Met police, driving forward a full and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy and our new Young Londoners Fund will help many young people to thrive, prosper and make the right choices to avoid being sucked into a life of crime.
“Prevention is the most effective tool we have, and with the funds announced today, these community and grass-roots projects will be able to help root out violence within our communities and give more young Londoners the skills, support and aspirations they need to turn away from crime and fulfil their potential.”
Pastor Lorraine Jones, Dwaynamics, said: “We are thrilled and extremely excited to have been granted funding from the Mayor’s Community Seed Fund. This funding will go directly towards our new Errol Christie Awards initiative which will tackle the issues surrounding knife crime through a number of workshops, supported by sports programmes through boxing from which Dwaynamics was founded. This work will ensure that our at-risk youth have the support, love, and attention they need to go on to be the champions we know they are whether it be in their professional or personal lives. The Errol Christie awards will be the defining factor when a young man or woman makes their most important life decisions. This will keep them dedicated and focussed, steering them away from the growing gang culture we have seen in Lambeth. The legacy of my son Dwayne Simpson lives on”
The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) will work with the successful bidders to provide mentoring and support, and to assist in building relationships with Safer Neighbourhood Boards. The Knife Crime Community Seed Fund is being managed by London Community Foundation.
Rosie Tharp, London Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted that MOPAC has committed funding to support the voluntary and community sector to respond to knife crime. These small charities and organisations face many challenges and are often run by volunteers and goodwill. It is positive that MOPAC recognises that community organisations are well-placed to tackle knife crime and has made funding available to support a range of services and interventions in priority areas across London.”
Later this week, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime will bring together representatives from the Met Police, local authorities, the NHS and London’s communities in a public Policing Matters meeting at City Hall, as work continues to drive forward the Mayor’s public health approach to tackle knife crime in the capital.
Notes to editors
* London’s Lost Youth Services report (Sian Berry, 2017): https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/london-assembly/assembly-members/publications-sian-berry/publication-sian-berry-londons
Policing Matters is one of the principal mechanisms through which the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime consider the issues that are most pressing in London and, with partners, lay out a response in a public setting. The Policing Matters meeting on knife crime will take place in Committee Room 3 at City Hall on Friday 23 March, and members of the public are invited to attend.
The Mayor published his full and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy in June 2017. Since then:
- The Mayor has invested an additional £110m in the Met in 2018-19 compared to the previous year in order to reduce the impact of the Government’s massive cuts to policing budgets. This includes £15m specifically to help tackle knife crime.
- The Mayor has created the Young Londoners Fund – a brand-new £45million fund for local communities and charities to help young people fulfil their potential particularly those who are at risk of getting caught up in crime.
- Every single London borough now has a bespoke knife crime action plan created in partnership with the Met police.
- Every school and college in London can now receive a knife wand, to help keep young people safe and prevent knife crime at school. 106 schools are now using wands and the Deputy for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, wrote again to schools reminding them of how they can obtain a wand if they would like one.
- On 31 October 2017, the Mayor hosted a Knife Crime Education Summit which brought together education providers, education leaders, Principals, Academy Trust Chairs, board members and Governmental bodies to better understand their needs and agree a plan of action to help tackle knife crime. As a result, Ofsted have agreed to deliver a thematic inspection on knife crime and safeguarding in London schools.
- The Mayor is working to increase the number of Safer Schools Officers across the capital, to engage with pupils and drive down crime in schools.
- The Mayor’s first anti-knife crime media campaign, ‘London Needs You Alive’, launched in November. The campaign brings together role models and social media youth ‘influencers’ to encourage young people away from carrying a knife, focusing on their talent and worth to the capital. With hundreds of thousands of social media followers between them, leading grime artist Yungen, MC Bossman Birdie, photographer Tom Sloan and urban poet Hussain Manawer are among those supporting it.
- The Mayor confirmed he is investing £1.4m to continue to provide youth workers in Major Trauma Centres, and place more youth workers to hospital A&E departments, to help steer young Londoners who have been involved in knife crime away from violence in the future.
- During Operation Winter Nights, which ran from November until December 2017, the Met made over 900 arrests and took more than 350 weapons off the streets – including 278 knives, 61offensive weapons and 20 firearms. The total number of arrests included 334 arrests following stop and searches.
- In November, MOPAC and the Met hosted a retailers’ workshop to discuss what more the business community can do to reduce knife crime. Attendees included representatives from Business Crime Reduction Partnerships, Business Improvement Districts, Trading Standards, Local Police, national retailers, independent retailers, the British Retail Consortium and British Independent Retailer Association.
- MOPAC is creating the London Knife Crime Dashboard which will be publicly available. This will be one of a number of dashboards that the public and stakeholders can use access and interpret data on a number of types of crime.
- The Mayor has dedicated £7m to projects to help tackle youth violence, including: Gang Exit (£500,000), Major Trauma Centres (£444,615), Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (£168,000), Victim Support Children & Young people (£360,861), and youth projects under the London Crime Prevention Fund (£5,295,717).
- MOPAC and the Met continue work to collaborate and learn from other forces and partners on tackling knife crime and violence. Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Sophie Linden and Met Commissioner Cressida Dick met Police Scotland in Glasgow in February.
- Prevention is more effective than enforcement, but the fact remains that after years of Government underfunding and cuts, the Met police is significantly underfunded causing a huge drain on resources and officer numbers are falling. Time and again, we have called on the Government, who are responsible for more than 70 per cent of the Met police budget, to do the right thing and give our police the funds they need to keep us safe. But they have refused. We will continue to work tirelessly to help keep our young Londoners safe.
- Nine community and grassroots anti-knife initiatives across London have received a share of £250,000 from City Hall as part of the Mayor’s comprehensive strategy to tackle violence and knife crime across the capital, with a further £1.15m to be awarded later this spring.