Call for London’s communities to bid for funds to tackle knife crime

04 December 2017
  • New £250,000 pot to fund work with young people to prevent and protect them from knife crime
  • Part of the Mayor of London’s comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy

Community groups working with young people and helping to tackle knife crime across the capital are being urged to apply for a share of funding from City Hall.

The new funding is part of the Mayor Sadiq Khan’s tough and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy, which he published in June, with an additional £625,000 for knife and gang crime projects, taking total spending to £7million to help beat the continued problem of rising knife crime in the capital.

Grants of up to £50,000 are available for individual organisations, and bids of £100,000 will be considered for projects which collaborate between partners and across boroughs. The cash is available for a wide variety of uses to support knife crime prevention work. This could include hiring premises, paying for instructors or paying for leaflets or food to galvanise attendance and encourage engagement from within London’s communities.

During the development of the Mayor’s Strategy and the Mayor’s new anti-knife crime campaign, London Needs You Alive, community groups and young people raised how 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.

Earlier this month, Sadiq launched a new and positive anti-knife crime campaign which focuses on the value and potential of London’s teenagers and is supported by influential Londoners and anti-knife crime campaigners. It is backed by a powerful video and asks young people to post social media content telling their friends and family why London needs them alive and why they shouldn’t carry a knife.

Last month, the Mayor hosted a special Summit, bringing together education leaders with Ofsted, the Met police, Transport for London as well as parents and young people who have been affected by knife crime to help increase efforts and collaborate on how best to tackle the problem in schools. The Summit also provided an opportunity to feed into the development of a new downloadable toolkit, based on the London Needs You Alive theme, that will support schools to participate in local anti-knife crime activity, offer guidance on how to identify those at risk and respond to incidents.

Sadiq is also ensuring every school has a nominated Safer Schools Officer, and extending services including the London Gang Exit Service and work in Major Trauma Centres.

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, said: “Knife crime ruins lives and devastates communities - every death on our streets is an utter tragedy. We cannot solve this problem through police enforcement alone. We need to send a strong signal that carrying and using a knife is more likely to ruin your life than save it, and do more to educate young people around the dangers of these weapons. Young people are London’s future and we need them to know how much we value them and that they shouldn’t put their lives at risk by carrying a knife – London needs them alive.

“As the Mayor has made clear, it takes a village to raise a child, which means the whole community – parents, families, teachers, schools, youth clubs or social workers – playing its part, and working with young people themselves and the community groups they know and trust.

“With this new funding, we want to empower local initiatives that are absolutely vital in helping to protect vulnerable young people and lead them away from a life of crime. I urge community groups across the capital to take up the opportunity to apply and be in with a chance of transforming their work and the lives of young Londoners and their families and friends.”

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. Bids will be considered by a multi-agency panel and funds are due to be allocated in February 2018. 

Notes to editors

Notes for editors:

  • The Knife Crime Community Seed Fund is being managed by London Community Foundation and aims to:
    • Support communities disproportionately affected by knife crime to respond better to their needs and issues.
    • Build a better understanding of the impact of grass-roots services on accessing and supporting young people affected by knife crime.
    • Support small organisations in the start-up and development of intervention and support services for young people affected by knife crime in London.
  • Applications are open for new and existing prevention and intervention work and can include core, staff, volunteer, operational, activity and publicity costs. The deadline for applications into the fund is 5pm Thursday 21st December 2017 and information on how to apply is online at the London Community Foundation website and the MOPAC bidding opportunities page.
  • Bids will be required to demonstrate that they address one or more of the below:

·         Target those who are already engaged in offending behaviour (intervention projects).

·         Address disproportionality issues amongst knife crime victims/offenders, including supporting groups who are particularly affected by knife crime, notably young black men and women.

·         Services for under 18’s (prevention or intervention projects) that promote safeguarding.

·         Support the parents and families of those who have been impacted/affected by knife crime.

·         Work in partnership with other projects and services already being delivered in the local area.

  • For more information about the London Needs You Alive campaign, visit here
  • To read the Mayor’s Knife Crime Strategy, visit here