A six-week crackdown on serious youth violence in targeted areas has successfully recovered 23 knives, one shot gun and resulted in more than 700 arrests Home Office Minister David Hanson MP announced today.
Alongside this police and youth workers engaged with more than 1,500 young people to deter them from carrying weapons and provide them with opportunities to attend local positive activities.
The nine intensive operations bought together local police, social services, youth workers and immigration staff. Each day started out with street based teams engaging with young people, directing them to positive activities and taking young people at risk of significant harm to safe locations. Later on in the evening police focussed on alcohol related crime – targeting individuals causing trouble and irresponsible bars and clubs.
The operations which took place in February and March 2010 were part of Tackling Knives and Serious Youth Violence Action Programme (TKAP).
Home Office Minister David Hanson MP said:
“I am really pleased by the success of these operations and I want to congratulate the police and their partner organisations for their hard work.
“We are determined to tackle all forms of serious youth violence that is why we recently announced the expansion of TKAP for another year with more than £5 million of funding for more engagement and prevention activities alongside targeted enforcement.”
The government recently pledged £5 million to tackle serious youth violence as TKAP is extended for a third year. The next phase of the programme which launches in April 2010 will operate in 52 areas and involves targeted action to reduce serious youth violence.
This will build on achievements from the second phase of the programme, including the roll-out of anonymous data sharing between hospitals and police on local incidents of serious violence and more education sessions for young people on the dangers of carrying weapons.
TKAP is closely linked to the £100 million Youth Crime Action Plan which sets out the government’s strategy to prevent youth crime, intervene early when problems arise and take tough enforcement action when necessary.