Tackling knife crime
A total of 11 community groups and third sector organisations have won bids from a funding pot of £180k set aside by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Organisations were able to bid for up to £20k to fund projects around the county.
The funding came from the Home Office knife crime grant, which is being used to support operational policing activity, community engagement, and equipment including knife bins and metal detecting arches and wands.
The programmes will be delivered across Lancashire with a focus on projects that aim to address the underlying causes and drivers of knife crime.
Chief Inspector Steve Anderton, Operational Knife Crime Lead at Lancashire Violence Reduction Unit said, “The Home Office knife crime fund has supported a multi-layered approach to reducing knife crime. Community and schools projects work to help to reduce the likelihood of children and young people becoming involved in violence and knife crime, keeping our young people safe.
‘Other police initiatives like metal detecting knife arches, hand-held metal detecting wands, stop and searches, and knife bins take knives off the streets.
‘It’s great news that we have been able to support 11 initiatives across the county. We are working closely with the community groups and third sector organisations involved to ensure they help our communities to become safer places to live and work.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to invest in so many projects that will help tackle the cycle of knife crime and serious violence across Lancashire through diversionary and targeted interventions.
“I fully support the ‘public health’ approach to violent crime. We continue to lose too many young lives to knife crime and serious violence and it’s crucial that all parts of our society work together to tackle it head-on and make our communities safer, which is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.
“Policing alone cannot prevent people offending and that is why I continue to support initiatives that work to move people away from a life of crime and tackle the underlying issues that often cause people to offend.
“It is only by working together across all parts of society and targeted interventions which support the work our officers do around the clock to keep us safe, that we will address this really important issue.
The following initiatives have secured funding:
Afta Thought – A primary school project that uses applied drama methods to deliver a prevention programme specifically developed for children under 11 years old.
PEP Enterprises ‘Knives Take Lives’ – Working with schools from selected areas to explore creative approaches to delivering anti-violence and anti-knife crime messages to fellow pupils.
Every Action Has Consequences ‘Lancashire Lives Not Knives’ – Bringing an established programme into more primary and secondary schools across Lancashire, specifically those in areas where Trading Standards are undertaking Community Alcohol Partnerships.
The Lancashire Colleges ‘knife free further education’ – A series of presentations and workshops reaching over 800 students aged 16-19 across 11 colleges in Lancashire.
Blackburn with Darwen
Inter Madrassah Organisation ‘Getting the Point’ – A programme working with schools, madrassahs and community groups to deliver training sessions for young people.
Blackburn with Darwen Healthy Living ‘Speak Up and Take Action’ – A peer mentoring programme in conjunction with Lancashire Constabulary, The Wish Centre, and Lancashire Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans.
Blackburn Youth Zone ‘Here and Now Club’ – Building on the Youth Zone’s existing membership this programme works with 10-13 year olds as they transfer from primary to secondary schools and uses a boxing club to engage with 13-19 year olds.
Ormskirk and surrounding areas
The Liberty Centre ‘WOW Programme’ – The WOW Programme targets young people who have dis-engaged with school or are de-motivated and are more susceptible to involvement in anti-social activity including violence.
Empower the Invisible ‘Beyond the Blade’ community action project – A Street-based youth and community project working in known hotspot areas in Preston.
Preston United Youth Programme ‘What’s the point’ – A project working to build relationships across communities including training 20+ year olds to become mentors.
Lives Not Knives – Delivering a prevention programme into primary and secondary schools in Wyre in addition to a pupil referral unit and a special educational needs school.
If you have any information about knife crime in Lancashire, contact the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.