An extra £500,000 is being set aside support young people at risk of becoming violent offenders and those already involved in gang and knife crime. Theresa May said that she hoped a new funding package would help police “protect communities” as well as boost the work done by charities and voluntary groups.
Firearms were used in 9,974 recorded crimes in the year to last April, up from 7,362, according to statistics revealed by the Home Office. Gun crime in England and Wales rose by 35 per cent.
Ms May said: “Serious youth violence has a devastating impact on communities and needs to be stopped.
“We need to change the life stories of the young people who too often end up dead or seriously injured on our streets or are sucked into a life of violence and crime.”
We need to change the life stories of the young people who too often end up dead or seriously injured.Theresa May
The Home Office previously announced £18m of funding until 2013 to support the police, local agencies and voluntary sector to tackle knife, gun and gang-related violence and prevent youth crime.
The additional £500,000 is on top of £4m for the communities against guns, gangs and knives fund, which supports 189 voluntary and community sector organisations. The four new areas to receive support are Hammersmith and Fulham, Merton, Leeds and Bradford.
The Home Office also intends to expand its frontline team to cover four more priority areas including Merton, which was home to Seydou Diarrassouba, the teenager fatally stabbed on Oxford Street during last year’s post-Christmas sales.
The government’s Ending Gang and Youth Violence report was published in November 2011 in the wake of the riots in 2011.
Gang injunctions were made available for under 18-year-olds and new offences of threatening with a knife in a public place or school were introduced, among changes brought in.