STORE

Govt to Spend £22 Million on ‘Positive Activities’ to Distract Youth From Crime

Knife Crime London
Daniel Berehulak/Getty

The British government is doubling the size of a fund aimed at helping young people to “focus their talents on positive activities” in a bid to tackle the rising crime wave.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced his department had earmarked £22 million for the Early Intervention Youth Fund in England and Wales. Amber Rudd, the former Home Secretary, announced the original fund of £11 million in April.

Police and crime commissioners can apply for money from the fund for projects run by youth and community groups between 2018 and 2020.

Earlier this month, official data revealed that more than 90 percent of recorded crimes in the UK are not ending in a charge or police action.

As homicide and violent crime – including knife, gun, and sex attacks – continue to rise, the proportion of crimes resulting in a charge or summons actually fell by two percentage points in a year.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), meanwhile, revealed that over the same time period, sexual offences have risen by 31 percent, knife and sharp implement attacks by 16 percent, and homicides by 12 percent.

Overall, the number of recorded crimes rose by 11 percent to 5.5 million offences, the highest level in more than ten years.

Separate figures from January showed that while the number of young people arrested fell 79 percent over the last 10 years, there has been a simultaneous rise in violent offences among people under the age of 18.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid commented: “Intervening early in the lives of vulnerable young people can help focus their talents on positive activities and steer them away from the dangers of serious violence.

“This is why we are doubling our Early Intervention Youth Fund to £22 million. The fund will support groups at the heart of our communities who educate and interact with youths – and provide them with an alternative to crime.

“We all need to work together to tackle this worrying issue and our Serious Violence Strategy is helping this joined-up approach.”

In March, London Mayor Sadiq Khan unveiled a similar £1.4 million fund to tackle knife crime, with funds earmarked for youth clubs, mosques, and Islamic centres.

.