A project to help young people steer clear of knife crime receives more than half a million pounds from Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion.
As part of the PCC’s commitment to break the cycle of crime, as set out in his Safer West Mercia Plan, the award-winning Steer Clear project, which is being delivered by The Children’s Society, has received additional financial support to help stop young people being criminalised and to reduce the number of homicides across West Mercia.
The £600,000 investment will help group workshops and 1:1 sessions, continue across West Mercia to give young people between the ages of 10 and 17 a safe space to talk about their involvement in knife crime and make a change. This support will be offered once a referral is made, with a multi-agency approach being taken to ensure the young person is given the most appropriate support. 1:1 sessions will be offered to a young person if further support is needed following group workshops.
Anyone can make a referral to the project through The Children’s Society, if they are concerned about a young person with regards to knife-crime related behaviour. You can make a referral by emailing [email protected].
PCC John Campion said: “I am committed to breaking the cycle of crime as I understand early intervention plays a key role in changing behaviours, which positively impacts the young person’s life and local communities.
“We know that knife crime is a societal issue and while knife crime rates are low in West Mercia, I am not complacent. Over the past three years I have proudly supported, and increased my funding, into the Steer Clear project.
“This additional investment, alongside the range of other services I support, shows my resolute commitment to have tailored measures in place to ensure intervention and prevention is at the heart of change in West Mercia.”
Nadia Ayub, Steer Clear Service Manager, said: “Having managed and worked on the direct work of Steer Clear for the last 18 months in Telford, I have seen the increasing need for it across West Mercia. Sadly, knife crime is on the rise across the country. We want to be able to support young people who feel carrying a knife might be the only choice they have to help them to feel seen and heard and understand what we can do to help them feel safer in their communities.
“Our Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion, sees the same value in this work and like us, wants to expand it across West Mercia.
“The policing teams have been doing an amazing job with the workshops, whilst The Children’s Society will now be holding the workshops and direct work. We look forward to our continued partnership with each policing area and working together to ensure we’re doing all we can to support and protect young people and reduce knife crime.”
For more information on the Steer Clear project, follow the link here: Steer Clear | The Children’s Society (childrenssociety.org.uk).