Enfield Council has been awarded nearly £493,000 in a bid to support early interventions to turn children away from gangs and crime.
The award from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is a share of a £9.5 million Supporting Families Against Youth Crime (SFAYC) fund that will be divided amongst community-backed projects in 21 areas across England which are vulnerable to the devastating effects of knife crime and gang culture.
The fund will help key-workers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk, to intervene early and help stop them from being drawn into gang crime and serious youth violence.
Enfield will use its £492,691 share to create a school-based initiative in four primary schools. By intervening in years 5 and 6, the Council and its partners will put measures in place to prevent any escalation into more serious violence and criminal activity that can often happen at the transition to secondary school.
The model will deliver direct, specialist support to those children most at-risk of entering into serious youth crime. Intensive support will be offered including direct one to one mentoring for the individual children, group work activities and coordinated support for the families.
Additional support will be available for parents, siblings, friends and the school community.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Achilleas Georgiou, said: “The additional funding will allow us to put an emphasis on early intervention programmes, helping us to tackle some of the complex challenges facing youths and families head-on at an early stage. In addition, we will support schools, carers, volunteers and community groups to work together to help Enfield’s young people.”
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, Cllr Nneka Keazor added: “Over the past few years, London has seen a shocking rise in youth crime and in particular knife crime. It’s with huge regret that we have seen this in our beloved borough too. Enfield Council therefore welcomes the extra funding that will complement existing efforts.
“As well as working closely with schools and young people, we really need the government to significantly increase investment in policing, so the residents of Enfield and other parts of the country have a service that is properly resourced.”
Cllr Keazor recently wrote to the Home Secretary on the issue of policing, and the Council has been lobbying the government to provide extra money for policing amid concerns there are too few officers in the borough. Meanwhile, Enfield Council continues to fund 16 additional police officers on estates, despite its shrinking budget and investing over £1 million a year on CCTV to deter crime and provide invaluable evidence for police investigations.