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Birmingham to use Home Office gangs fund to work with girls

By Neil Puffett

| 29 May 2012

Help for young women on the cusp of gang activity will form a central plank of government-funded work in Birmingham to tackle gang and youth violence, it has been announced.

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Home Office funding will support a variety of activities to address gang problems in Birmingham. Image: Robin Hammond

Birmingham is one of 29 areas that has received confirmation of Home Office grant allocations to tackle gang and youth violence.

In total £10m is being shared between local authorities in 2012/13, following commitments made in the cross-government post riots report, Ending Gang and Youth Violence.

Based on population size, Birmingham has received the largest slice of the money with £1.2m.

Birmingham Council said the grant will be used on a number of initiatives, including provision of peer-support and theatre workshops for young women involved, or at the cusp of being involved, in gang activity.

It will also strengthen its existing multi-agency gang unit, to deal more effectively with key individuals, “enabling probation, the youth offending service and specialist social workers to work alongside police officers to jointly tackle the most difficult cases in Birmingham”.

Meanwhile additional support will be provided to young people who are not in education, employment or training to prevent them becoming involved, or further involved, in gang activity.

Money will also go towards further development of early intervention programmes in schools, including a specific project that focuses on looked-after children.

James McKay, Birmingham City Council’s lead member for a green, safe and smart city, said: “The city welcomes this funding and the opportunity it brings to work with the Home Office on this crucial area of work.

“Even though recorded crime is falling, communities are still worried about the gang and youth violence that takes place in some parts of Birmingham and want to know what local agencies are doing to tackle these issues.

“The partnership will endeavour to ensure that communities are kept informed of the development of this activity through a series of road shows and other community events which will be delivered across the city.”

Other areas to receive funding include Manchester, Salford, Wolverhampton and a number of London boroughs.

 

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