£1 million pledge to tackle youth violence in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council is working with the Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster to reduce youth violence with an average of 590 incidents a month recorded last year
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Youth workers are to be hired by Birmingham council for the first time since 2010 in an attempt to reduce levels of youth violence in the city.

And it will be partnering with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office (PCC) to invest £1 million in tackling youth violence in the city, the leader of the council has announced.

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Funding for youth services has been cut by around 82 per cent since 2010 and has had a knock-on effect on youth violence.

Alarmingly last year saw an average of 590 incidents a month - which spiralled to 792 incidents in May.

Cases included the tragic death of 15 year-old Keon Lincoln who was shot and knifed to death near his home in Handsworth, with the gunman aged just 14 at the time.

Speaking at last week’s meeting of the full council, leader of the council, Cllr Ian Ward said he was ‘deeply concerned’ by the levels of youth violence in the city, and revealed new funding to help tackle the issue.

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“I’m deeply concerned by the levels of youth violence in our city,” he said.

“Young lives are cut short, life chances are ruined, families are left behind and communities are fractured.

“That is why, working with the PCC Simon Foster, Birmingham council is investing £1 million into tackling youth violence in this city.”

Keon Lincoln murdered by teenagers yards from his homeKeon Lincoln murdered by teenagers yards from his home
Keon Lincoln murdered by teenagers yards from his home

Why are youth workers so important in the fight against youth crime?

“For the first time in a decade this council is going to be employing new youth workers who will be out and about in our communities supporting our young people.

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“The council’s books are in the healthiest position they’ve been in for 30 years, and because we have managed public money sensibly, we’re in a position to announce this initiative which will lead to a safer Birmingham for everyone and especially young people.

“Early intervention is important, and that is why part of this £1 million investment will be used to fund youth workers among which will be a specific school youth worker who will deliver a program to young people beginning at the age of 10, which will help those children showing early signs of difficulties.

“Birmingham is a young city and a city of opportunity. But it’s absolutely essential that all young people growing up in every neighbourhood can reach their full potential.

“As we can see in towns and cities across the country, knife crime and other youth violence robs young people of a future, and robs families of sons and daughters.

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“I’m determined that we’ll work with partners and with communities to tackle this scourge, because our children and young people deserve a safe and better future.”

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