Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. The impact of the coronavirus Covid-19 lockdown on children and young people in London has been profound. From research and stakeholder engagement across the GLA and VRU, it is known that lockdown has had significant effects on young people’s mental health, wellbeing, loneliness, activity levels and future opportunities (e.g. education and employment). It is also having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable young people.
1.2. Teams within the GLA and the Violence Reduction Unit have identified existing available 2020-21 budgets that they can bring together to boost positive activities for young people.
1.3. The funding will add capacity to existing work taking place across the voluntary community sector in London working to divert people away from violence, making an intervention at an early stage and working to address the root causes of violence by providing some of the most disadvantaged young Londoners who have been exposed to violence with positive life opportunities.
2. Issues for consideration
2.1. A UK Youth report on the impact of Covid-19 on the youth sector and young people found: increased mental health or wellbeing concerns, increased loneliness and isolation, lack of safe spaces, challenging family relationships lack of trusted relationships or someone to turn to, increased social media or online pressure, higher risk for engaging in gangs, substance misuse, carrying weapons or other harmful practices and higher risk for sexual exploitation or grooming. The ongoing City Hall London Community Response Survey consistently shows mental health, anxiety and the needs of young people as key concerns.
2.2. VRU funded summer/autumn activity grants will be concentrated towards offering diversion and prevention opportunities to supporting vulnerable young people through offering genuine diversion and prevention opportunities for young people in need.
3. Financial Comments
3.1. The VRU will be contributing £500,000 towards the GLA’s Summer/Autumn 2020 Activities Programme, which will be funded from existing VRU commissioning budget (20/21). This funding will be transferred to the GLA for a more consistent approach and management of the wider LCRF.
4. Legal Comments
4.1. Transfers of funding between the GLA and MOPAC are governed by Section 120 of the GLA Act 1999. The Act provides that transfers require mayoral approval (also being sought via a GLA Mayoral Decision) and the only limitation that may be placed upon the use of such transferred funds is that the capital funding may be used only for capital expenditure.
4.2. Paragraph 4.8 of the MOPAC Scheme of Delegation and Consent provides that the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC) has delegated authority to approve:
1.1. Business cases for revenue or capital expenditure of £500,000 and above.
5. Commercial Issues
5.1. The VRU will be entering into an SLA with the GLA, allocating £0.5m of VRU funding towards the London Community Response Fund (LCRF) wave three round.
6. Public Health Approach
6.1. London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is taking a public health approach to violence reduction, that is contextual; looking at the context and influences that impact on individuals at significant points in their life.
6.2. This spend takes a public health approach to tackling violence, which means looking at violence not as isolated incidents or solely a police enforcement problem. Instead, this approach looks at violence as a preventable consequence of a range of factors, such as adverse early-life experiences, or harmful social or community experiences and influences impacted by CV-19.
7. GDPR and Data Privacy
7.1. A full Data Protection Impact Assessment will be completed by all providers if required as part of the mobilisation for the services, to ensure that all delivery is fully compliant with the requirements of the GDPR.
7.2. All contracts and grant agreements will include clear provisions relating to compliance in this area, and in relation to the processing of personal data. These terms have been drafted following consultation with MOPAC’s GDPR Project Manager.
8. Equality Comments
8.1. Under s149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Equality Act), as a public authority the Deputy Mayor/MOPAC must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (the duty in respect of this last characteristic is to eliminate unlawful discrimination only).
8.2. The Violence Reduction Unit has commissioned an Equality Impact Assessment. The impact assessment recognises the importance of ethnicity, sex, age and socio-economic background as equality characteristics that the VRU programme will impact in positive ways through commissioning a programme that works with young people who are most affected by violence, with a focus on those who are disproportionately represented as victims and perpetrators (BAME groups). The assessment also highlights the need to recognise the distinct experiences of male and female young people.
9. Background/supporting papers