Knife, gun and gang-related violence

Knife, gun and gang crime is wholly unacceptable and reducing it is a key priority for the government. Too many young lives are blighted by violent crime and we are committed to making our communities safer places for everyone.

Ending gang and youth violence: One year on

The Home Office held a national conference and released a follow-up report to mark the anniversary of the launch of the cross-government Ending Gang and Youth Violence report on 27 November 2012.

The report, Ending gang and youth violence: one year on, sets out the ways in which the Government will support the people working locally - from health, education, Jobcentre Plus, community safety teams, and criminal justice partners - to stop gang and youth violence. It shows that good progress has been made in a number of areas. At a national level, for example, gang injunctions have been made available for under-18 year olds, and new offences of threatening with a knife in a public place or school have been introduced.

The Home Office has also announced its intention to strengthen the legislation around the importation and supply of illegal firearms, and dedicated £1.2 million over three years to improve services for young people at risk or victims of sexual violence and exploitation by gangs.

One year on reflects on both national and local achievements, and sets out the Government’s commitments for the next year and beyond; to ensure the long-term impact of this work, and to reduce gang and youth violence.  

New funding to improve services for young people affected by sexual violence and exploitation

As part of the ending gang and youth violence report the Home Office committed to provide an additional £400,000 per annum for three years to improve services to support children and young people under 18 suffering sexual violence and exploitation, including from gangs.

Organisations were invited to bid for funding to recruit up to 13 new young people's advocates who will provide direct and dedicated support to young people who are victims or at risk of sexual violence and exploitation.

The funding was open to all organisations that have experience of working with:

  • young people 
  • victims of sexual violence and exploitation 
  • street gangs

The successful bids have now been announced, with nine organisations gaining funding for 13 young people's advocates posts.

Local areas due to receive additional support on gang and youth violence

The ending gang and youth violence report sets out the government's plans to prioritise £10 million of Home Office investment in early intervention work in 2012-13, to support up to 30 areas 'most affected by gangs and youth violence'.

Using a combination of data on serious youth violence and local police intelligence on the severity and location of gang activity, we have identified 22 areas with high rates of serious violence, admissions to hospital for assault by sharp object, and gang problems. You can now view the provisional funding allocations.

Ending gang and youth violence: a cross-government report

Following the disorder in August across cities in England, the Prime Minister asked the Home Secretary to lead a review, alongside the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, into the growing problem of gangs and gang violence. The report looks into the scale of the problem of gang and youth violence, analyses its causes, and identifies what can be done by government and other agencies to both stop the violence and turn around the lives of those involved.

The cross-government report, published on 1 November 2011, sets out detailed plans to make this happen through:

  • providing support to local areas to tackle the problem 
  • preventing young people from becoming involved in violence in the first place - with a new emphasis on early intervention and prevention 
  • offering pathways out of violence and the gang culture for young people, who want to break with the past
  • punishment and enforcement to suppress the violence of those refusing to exit violent lifestyles 
  • partnership-working to join up the way local areas respond to gang and other youth violence

You can now view the ending gang violence summary and detailed report.

Communities against guns, gangs and knives fund

The communities against guns, gangs and knives (CAGGK) fund will provide £4 million for the voluntary and community sector over the next two years; £2 million will be available during 2011-12 and a further £2 million during 2012-13.

The funding criteria are focused on voluntary sector organisations working with young people at risk of involvement in gang, gun and knife crime or to support those who are involved to leave. Each successful organisation will receive up to £10,000 each per year to prevent the involvement of teenagers in gun, gang and knife crime.

The application process for the CAGGK fund has now closed. Applications are currently being assessed and applicants will be informed of the outcome shortly.

What we're doing

The Home Office has committed £18 million of funding for 2011-2013 to support the police, local agencies and the voluntary sector to tackle knife, gun and gang-related violence and prevent young people entering a cycle of crime.

The funding will support enforcement and prevention work by police in three knife crime hotspot areas. It will sit alongside positive activities for young people and local work to bring about long-term changes in attitudes and behaviours. The money includes up to:

  • £3.75 million for the three police forces areas where more than half of the country’s knife crime occurs - London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands 
  • £4 million for local voluntary organisations across England and Wales working with young people to stop involvement in knife and gang violence - the Communities Against Guns, Gangs and Knives Fund 
  • £10 million for prevention and diversionary activities and engagement with young people at risk of becoming involved in crime, including knife related violence, through the Positive Futures Programme 
  • £250,000 for one further year of the Ben Kinsella fund for young people to run anti-knife crime projects in their local area

The funding will run from April 2011 to March 2013, when police and crime commissioners will be in place.

Brooke Kinsella's report

In June 2010 the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary asked Brooke Kinsella, whose brother Ben was murdered two years ago, to undertake a fact-finding mission. She was asked to examine schemes running in local communities that are working to stop young people from committing violence, including violence using weapons.

Ms Kinsella’s report, Tackling knife crime together - a review of local anti-knife crime projects was published on 2 February 2011. The report makes a number of recommendations including:

  • anti-knife crime presentations for school children 
  • more data sharing between police, schools and other agencies on local issues 
  • a best practice website for local organisations  
  • more work with young children to stop them getting involved in knife crime

Tackling Knives and Serious Youth Violence Action Programme (TKAP) Good Practice Guide 2010-11

TKAP ended in March 2011. The Good Practice Guide contains good practice examples and case studies of activities drawn from across the participating areas in 2010-11.

On 24 May 2011, we published a research report titled 'An assessment of the Tackling knives and serious youth violence action programme (TKAP) Phase 2'. The report summarises data from a variety of sources, including police recorded crime and hospital admissions for assault.

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