Gangs and Knife Crime
AIM: Improved data sharing on gangs, with the aim of reducing exploitation of young people through gang membership and reducing and preventing violent crime, especially knife crime.
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
- Over £76,000 has been provided to Berkshire Youth for a two year project to work with young people who do not engage with youth services but are at risk of joining gangs and/or exploitation.
- Nearly £20,000 to Wycombe Youth Action to develop research on young people and gangs.
- Over £3m of funding provided to Local Authorities across the Thames Valley to tackle local priorities including work to prevent gang crime and the exploitation of young people.
- The Home Office has awarded the Police and Crime Commissioner £822,000 from its Early Intervention Youth Fund to help tackle youth violence, vulnerability and exploitation across the Thames Valley.
Thames Valley Police
- The Protecting Vulnerable People Unit are developing 'Elpis' which is a multi-agency database that enables better information sharing, risk assessment and data analysis of missing people episodes, with an aim to reduce harm and frequency of missing person episodes.
- Act2Improv are running a summer programme on gangs and criminal exploitation in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes with the aim to prevent gang membershp and/or exploitation. The success of the programme will be measured through quantitative measures of re-offending.
- Local Licensing officers are working with licensed premises and their staff to improve their knowledge of under age drinking, acid attacks, child sexual exploitation, crime prevention counter-terrorism and reducing violence.
- The Local Policing Area led multi-agency tasking and co-ordination (MATAC) process is being implemented in Oxfordshire and then across the force, focusing on a greater sharing of information between police and partners to target those causing the most harm.
- The Milton Keynes and Bucks Positive Pathway Programme delivered a three weeks long, mentor-based service for 13 young males who had been put forward due to their gang connections, drug misuse, high level of criminality, and significant level of missing person/exploitation cases. Outcomes include a fall in missing persons cases involving the participants from 10 per week to a single case over three weeks and none of the participants who stayed on the programme were arrested or were reported to have committed any crime.
- Thames Valley Police supported the Home Office week of action against knife crime (18-24/9) (Op Sceptre) and delivered a range of activities across the force including knife surrender bins in 16 front counters and test purchases by Police Cadets.
- Milton Keynes LPA is delivering a youth diversion scheme, set up by a neighbourhood officer which involves getting troubled young people involved in a boxing club.
- Aylesbury LPA hosted a presentation by an ex-gang member who delivered preventative inputs on County Drug Lines, knife crime and gangs to the most at risk children excluded from mainstream schooling in three LPAs. In Windsor LPA, exploitation awareness conferences took place to increase our partner’s understanding of county lines and vulnerability.
- Oxford LPA and TVP’s Serious Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) worked on drug dealing investigations greatly assisted by intelligence and community engagement. Warrants were successfully executed and children at risk safeguarded. Local Neighbourhood Officers used the opportunity to engage with the community and provide reassurance, building long term relations and better reporting.
- Youths at risk of crime, committing crime, or vulnerable, took part in Music & Motivation, a project offering education, interaction through music and opportunities to pursue their own interests with support and mentors (landscaping, graphic design etc.). The diversion achieved community support and funding, while demonstrably reducing the youths’ involvement in police incidents. A mentoring scheme in Cherwell has also seen successes.
Following the success of the “Get Berkshire Active” charity in Slough in reducing gang violence, a funding bid has been submitted with a view to expanding their reach force-wide.
The force have in partnership with third sector party ‘Involve’ on problem-solving, reassurance and protecting the vulnerable in Berkshire, enhancing work against county lines and sexual exploitation.