Root cause of violent crime must be tackled, Home Secretary warns, as £2.7m agreed for youth projects in Yorkshire

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid
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The "root cause" of serious crime must be tackled to prevent youngsters being drawn in, the Home Secretary has warned, as details of a £2.7m drive to tackle the issue in Yorkshire are revealed.

Sajid Javid has said there needs to be "more leadership all round" after unveiling details of 29 projects nationwide that will receive funding, totalling £17.7m over two years, to divert children and young people away from a life of crime.

Among them are projects across West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside, endorsed by Police and Crime Commissioners.

Ministers have come under intense pressure over efforts to tackle spiralling levels of violent crime. Particular focus has fallen on London after a spate of fatal stabbings in the capital.

On a visit to Brixton today, Mr Javid said the "root causes" of serious violence need to be tackled.

"As well as taking immediate action to curb knife crime, we need a longer-term approach to prevent our young people from getting drawn into a life of crime in the first place," he said, announcing the drive.

"That is why early intervention - alongside tough law enforcement - is at the heart of our Serious Violence Strategy.

"This money will fund a range of projects that focus on diverting vulnerable youngsters and those who have already offended away from crime."

Measures used by the chosen projects include mentoring, support for families and steps to guide youngsters into employment or education.

Efforts to combat the influence of so-called "county lines" gangs are part of the remit of a number of the selected schemes.

In Humberside, funding of £37,500 has been awarded, for the Box Clever project. This initiative has linked components - engaging all schools through awareness campaigns, educational packs, creating an early intervention fund, and through the Tommy Coyle Foundation, a mobily boxing gym aimed at engaging the most challenging young people in their own communities.

In South Yorkshire, where £1,245,680 has been agreed, among the measures are the creation of a sub-regional child crime exploitation hub, focused strategies, and initiatives for schools.

In West Yorkshire, awarded £1,121,395, a youth intervention project is to target vulnerable young people or those linked with gangs, while others measures would focus on employing keyworkers, engaging community and charity responses, and support to reduce gang related violence in Kirklees.