Notes from the Tackling Youth Violence Network, May 2018

On the 15th of May, we held our latest Tackling Youth Violence Network meeting, kindly hosted by Young Hackney at The Edge Youth Hub in Manor House. The meeting was very well-attended by over 65 people, representing more than 40 organisations from across the youth sector in London. The network heard from the speakers below.

The network, which has been running since 2012, is a unique forum in London that regularly brings together youth workers and other specialists involved in front-line youth violence programmes. It’s an opportunity for youth violence professionals to share best practice, to network and partner, and to connect with politicians and policymakers. The network is primarily aimed at London Youth members, but is open to any organisation or statutory service involved or interested in tackling youth violence in London.

Claire Waxman, Victims Commissioner

Claire Waxman, the first Victims Commissioner, was appointed by the Mayor of London in 2017. Her role is to represent the voices of victims in the policing and justice processes and to deliver the Mayor’s victims strategy.

Claire discussed her work in ensuring compliance with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime. Due to many organisations being unaware of their statutory duties under the code, she is completing a compliance review. She is also completing a Strategic Victims Needs Assessment to ensure that victims of crime in London receive the support they need. To inform these projects, Claire is encouraging anyone with experiences of crime to complete the Victims of Crime Survey before June 2018.

Claire called for victims of crime to receive holistic and integrated services that are tailored to the needs of the individual and are trauma-informed.

Tania Skae, London Community Foundation

The London Community Foundation’s mission is to support grass-roots and community-based organisations in London with funding, support, and advice.

Tania presented on London Community foundation’s report, The Violence Virus. The report discusses the causes and solutions to rising youth violence in London.

The report calls for a long-term, multi-agency approach to youth violence in London. It emphasises that community organisations have the experience, trust, compassion, and expertise to meaningfully address youth violence, but this isn’t matched with the necessary support. Community organisations are able to provide:

  • Prevention: They recognise triggers and react before and at first signs, providing early intervention support.
  • Crisis intervention: They are experts in providing immediate, emergency support and conflict mediation.
  • After care: They specialise in providing rehabilitation and long-term support.

Alice Deacon and John Hart, Young Hackney

Young Hackney is Hackney Council’s service for children and young people between 6 and 19 years old. The service provides opportunities, advice and support for young people, including specialist programmes in sport, participation, prevention, youth justice, substance misuse, and helping young victims of crime. They also run five youth centres around the borough.

Alice presented on the experience of operating an integrated council youth service, delivering a range of universal, targeted, and detached services to young people. John remembered the young people in the Young Hackney community who have lost their lives to violence. He also discussed the philosophical underpinnings of youth work, which he said should be based on the principle of fairness. As youth centres provide respite from physical harms, youth workers must also create an environment that offers respite from the spiritual harms of navigating systematic and structural discrimination and inequality.

Look out for the next Tackling Youth Violence Network meeting in July or August 2018. If you have any questions, please email Clifford Fleming.

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