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Youth Crime

Volume 655: debated on Monday 25 February 2019

Last October, I launched the Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund to build on the troubled families programme’s proven track record of working with vulnerable families.

This new fund will allow local areas to put a greater focus on working with young people vulnerable to the devastating risks of serious violence. Increasing knife crime, particularly among young people, has been a worrying trend. This fund will bring together keyworkers, community groups, teachers and other professionals to intervene earlier to help stop young people from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and entering the youth justice system.

I am pleased to announce that, in response to the quality of the bids we received, I have decided to increase the fund from £5 million to £9.8 million, which will fund projects in 21 areas across the country, including 10 in London.

The projects receiving funding include those focused on working with children before they make the important transition from primary to secondary school as this is a time when children are particularly vulnerable to becoming involved in crime. Other projects will work with smaller groups of young people already at high risk and carry out in-depth work with parents, carers and professionals to help them understand the risk factors and the dangers of their children being exposed to gang culture.

Many young people across the country are vulnerable to serious violence and youth crime and have experienced childhood trauma which has affected their mental health, resilience, confidence and decision making. For that reason, I am also making workforce development funding available to all other authorities delivering the troubled families programme to contribute to training staff in trauma-informed approaches, emotional coaching and non-violent resolution practices which will better enable them to identify and support these young people.

This new fund is a contribution to a wider package of reforms and funding. The Government’s serious violence strategy set out the trends and drivers behind the increases in serious violence and a major programme of work. Importantly, it talks about the benefits of intervening early and with a multi-agency response, something on which the troubled families programme has a proven track record. Learning from these projects will be shared across Government to support the development of future policies.

The full list of areas receiving funding can be found here: