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10 April 2018

The Home Office have released the Government’s Serious Violence Strategy. The strategy is the Home Office’s plan for addressing serious violence in the coming years. It includes new initiatives and commitment of funding (for example, the Early Intervention Youth Fund), as well as linking of existing or forthcoming government programmes (for example, the Department of Health & Social Care and Department for Educations’s green paper on children and young people’s mental health).

The strategy has a focus on young people and youth violence. There is a welcome focus on open access ‘prevention’ programmes for young people and some commitment of funding. However, the £11 million in the Early Intervention Youth Fund is only a good start, and it must be followed up with sustainable, long-term funding for prevention and early intervention programmes. Despite some references to working with the youth sector, the strategy does not include any plans for engagement or long-term service delivery with the youth or community sectors.


Tackling county lines and misuse of drugs (p. 47–56)

  • £3.6 million for a new National County Lines Co‑ordination Centre
  • £500,000 for new Heroin and Crack Action Areas
  • Awareness campaign among professionals working with young people about criminal exploitation of young people (i.e., county lines)
  • Additional support for young people at risk, including £175,000 of funding to build upon Mentor UK’s ‘Unplugged’ feasibility study

Early intervention and prevention (p. 57–68)

  • £11 million for a new Early Intervention Youth Fund for youth organisations. MOPAC and Community Safety Partnerships can bid for funding for youth and community organisations who support early intervention and prevention activity in their areas
  • Closer working between the police and the Department for Education and schools
  • Refreshed guidance on and greater support for young people with mental ill health
  • £7 million to develop a trauma-led policing model (in Wales)
  • Continuing support for Young People’s Advocates, Troubled Families Programme in England (2015-2020), and £13 million over four years for the Trusted Relationships Fund
  • Expanding the DIVERT model, Redthread’s Youth Violence Intervention Programme outside and within London, earlier access to the Department for Work & Pensions’ Work and Health Programme for young people at risk of being involved in gangs and serious violence
  • Rolling out Enhanced Support Units within the youth secure estate and Liaison and Diversion services in police stations and courts

Supporting communities and partnerships (p. 69–78)

  • Continuing the Community Fund for local initiatives to tackle knife crime (further rounds of $1 million in 2018/19 and 2019/20)
  • #knifefree public campaign
  • Greater focus for Police & Crime Commissioners and Community Safety Partnerships on serious violence in local areas
  • Closer working between Police & Crime Commissioners and health authorities
  • Supporting and connecting community organisations through the Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation Forum & Fund

Effective law enforcement and criminal justice response (p. 79–88)

  • Continued support for Operation Sceptre
  • Tightening legislation on possession of knives, corrosive substances, and firearms
  • Developing a Victims Strategy
  • Support available for victims of acid attacks

Other points of interest include a new Serious Violence Taskforce, reporting to an Inter-Ministerial Group and with representatives from national and local government, police and crime commissioners, health sector, education sector, and industry.

Samuel Howell, Policy Officer