Essex is set to benefit from hundreds of thousands of pounds of Government funding to help tackle serious violence in the county.
The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, on behalf of the Safer Essex Partnership and using predictive insight generated by the Essex Data programme, developed an ambitious bid for funding from the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund which has been successful.
Essex will be given £664,000 to help tackle the complex issues of serious violence, youth exploitation and drug gangs which have become a significant and growing concern for residents in every area of our county.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“Essex has the highest number of violent incidents linked to Urban Street Gangs and County Lines across the Eastern Region. While serious violence has increased at a lower rate in Essex than the rest of the country, it is still rising and is a high profile area of crime that is having a significant impact on our communities.
“Working with partners across Essex we have developed a Violence and Vulnerability Framework which outlines our approach. To support this work we also submitted an ambitious bid to the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund for additional funding to tackle this growing threat to our communities. I am delighted that it was successful.”
The Early Intervention Youth Fund is a new fund of £20 million announced by the Home Office in the spring.
The money will be used to establish a Violence and Vulnerability Unit. The unit will see officers from Essex Police, the Youth Offending Service and other agencies come together to undertake joint operations, interventions, and ensure sharing of relevant data and intelligence led by a violence and vulnerability project manager.
There will also be increased investment in awareness and education programmes as well as new, evidence-based preventative interventions to prevent young people from being exploited by criminal gangs.
Andy Prophet, Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing and Public Protection at Essex Police, said: “Early intervention is a powerful tool to make communities safer and this fund will strengthen local partnerships and fund the work that stops crime, reduces harm and saves lives. In tackling some of the pathways that lead to people becoming violent we can make a big difference, and one of our biggest jobs will be to get help to people who are both violent but also extremely vulnerable and in danger.”
Ian Davidson, Chief Executive of Tendring District Council and chair of Safer Essex, said: “I am proud that Essex is leading the way nationally in developing a collaborative response to this issue and that the Home Office has recognised and wants to financially support the great work we have planned. We can only combat violence and vulnerability by working together. This money will go such a long way in helping us to deliver safer communities for Essex.”