Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are set to get nearly £400,000 to support young people from getting involved in knife crime, Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite has announced.
The Home Office funding of £384,431 will go to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Youth Offending Service and will fund a team of specialist workers who will support young people with complex needs who are at significant risk of criminal exploitation and youth violence.
The Home Office is making up to £22 million available through its Early Intervention Youth Fund over 12 months to police and crime commissioners across the country to prevent and tackle serious youth violence and child exploitation.
Mr Ablewhite said: “Whilst our county is not seeing the level of violent crime witnessed in cities such as London, this money means we can get intensive services to support complex young people who are involved in exploitation and organised crime.
“They will benefit from working with a team of specialists. This means we can do so much more to make sure young people understand the risks involved and make the right choices for more positive futures.”
Cllr Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities at Peterborough City Council, said: “We welcome this funding, which will allow us to work in partnership with the county council and the police to help our young people protect themselves against criminal exploitation and youth violence.
“This specialist team will allow skilled workers to develop a trusted relationship with young people in Peterborough to support them to remove themselves from risky environments and lifestyles. The team will support us to keep both young people and communities safe.”
Simon Bywater, chairman of the Children and Young People Committee for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “Unfortunately the number of young people being targeted and exploited by organised crime groups across Cambridgeshire is growing.
“This funding offers us an opportunity to intervene with high risk young people using an intensive trauma violence reduction approach. We want every young person identified to have a trusted relationship with a skilled worker who can offer them intensive support and help them to safely exit risky environments and lifestyles.
“This opportunity enables us to focus on keeping young people and communities safe.”