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Crimes of Violence: Crime Prevention

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking with local authorities to tackle gang activity. (322997)

Gangs are part of the wider serious youth violence agenda, on which the Government have spent £17.3 million since September 2007 as part of the Tackling Gangs Action Programme (TGAP) and Tackling Knives and Serious Youth Violence Action Programme (TKAP). On 17 March 2010 my right hon. Friend the Minister for Policing, Crime and Counter-Terrorism announced a further £5.5 million for tackling serious youth violence in 2010-11. £1.5 million of this funding has been made available through the Community Fund, ensuring that 150 voluntary and community sector organisations are able to deliver intensive interventions at a local level to young people involved in serious youth violence, including gangs.

Through the Policing and Crime Act 2009 the Home Office created Gang Injunctions, a civil tool to allow local authorities and police to tackle over 18s involved in gang related violence. Parliament is currently considering provisions in the Crime and Security Bill which will allow this civil tool to be used in relation to 14 to 17-year-olds. The £17.3 million funding since September 2007 to tackle gangs and serious youth violence has included £1.6 million to the four cities that were the focus of the TGAP programme, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, to assist in the multi-agency risk management of violent offenders, including gang members. In Merseyside, for instance, this funding has resulted in the UK’s first Violent Offender Management Unit. The Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have also jointly established a team of experts from police forces, local authorities and central Government that will be available to local partnerships to deliver focused advice and guidance on gangs.

Further support for local schools, partnerships and practitioners can also be found in guidance on safeguarding children and young people who may be involved in gang activity, recently published jointly by the Home Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). This guidance builds on the advice already offered in Tackling Gangs: A Practical Guide, published in 2008, which provides key approaches to help local partnerships devise a gangs strategy.