Government to launch £200m youth fund to tackle violent crime

By Neil Puffett

| 02 October 2018

Projects that support vulnerable children will be given the opportunity to access a new £200m fund as part of efforts to tackle serious youth violence, Home Secretary Sajid Javid will announce today.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will announce the establishment of a new £200m fund to support initiatives tackling youth violence. Picture: YouTube

In his speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham he will outline details of a youth endowment fund to tackle violent crime "hotspots" over the next decade - equivalent to £20m a year.

It will support projects that help vulnerable children aged 10 to 14, including mentoring and counselling.

The establishment of the fund comes at a time of continuing cuts to local level youth services.

Figures published last week show that youth service spending is due to fall by £31.4m for 2018/19 from £415.8m to £384.5m. Spending on youth services by English local authorities stood at £1.18bn in 2010/11.

Javid is also expected to announce plans to consult on the introduction of a statutory duty on police officers, teachers, and social workers to report suspects of violent crime and work together to tackle the issue.

The consultation would look at how information - such as a teacher identifying a pupil from a violence hotspot who was a frequent truant - could be shared.

Earlier this year the government dropped plans to introduce a requirement for professionals to report child abuse or neglect, claiming there is no evidence it will make children any safer.

Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "Violent crime is rising and recorded drug-related crime is surging.

"But all the Tories can offer is a review, yet another consultation and a £200m fund that doesn't replace the money they have already cut from local authorities.

"It's no use Sajid Javid saying health, education, social services, local government, housing and others are at the root cause of violent crime.

"He is part of a government that has been implementing damaging austerity measures in all of these areas for more than eight years."

Labour has said it would establish a national body with a ringfenced budget to oversee and fund youth service provision across England if it wins the next election.

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