On Friday 15 June at a ceremony held at the Spotlight in Hoddesdon, the Broxbourne Community Safety Partnership launched the Youth Violence Intervention Project which has been designed to tackle emerging crime issues and safeguard one of the Borough’s most vulnerable group of residents, young people.
Attendees from schools, youth support organisations, family and parenting support groups, local churches, the Council and the Police were present to hear more about gang activity, knife crime and how to reduce youth violence.
In his opening address, Leader of Broxbourne Council, Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop said: “A lot of work to tackle the issue of youth violence has taken place in Broxbourne and our work has garnered significant momentum.
“I want young people to lead a productive life and in doing so I want them not to say what is the purpose of life, but to lead a life of purpose.”
The Broxbourne Community Safety Partnership successfully secured £256,000 from the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner to move the project forward.
David Lloyd, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “It’s really encouraging to see so many different groups coming together to tackle this problem.
“We must ensure that agencies such as schools and children’s services are working together and giving appropriate support to youngsters.
“We all have a part to play in making sure our children and young people know it is unacceptable to be carrying a knife or to get involved in gangs.”
Charlie Hall, Hertfordshire Constabulary Chief Constable also spoke at the launch. He talked about the links between drugs, gangs and knife crime and urged all partners to help break this crime cycle, which in turn will help to ensure young people are not drawn into violent disputes.
Speaking directly of her experience of knife crime, after losing her son Joshua Ribera in 2013, Alison Cope delivered an emotional and eye-opening presentation about the impact of knife crime and the devastating result the issue has on the families of victims and offenders.
In a passionate call for action during her presentation Alison said: “It’s crucial for national awareness to be brought forward and for parents to be educated about overlooked factors that have a huge impact on the morals and actions of young people, namely gaming, applications and unregulated social media platforms.
“Although not limited to these influences, these channels play a big role in why young people are becoming desensitised to knife crime which is boosted further by the ideology that we live in a dangerous world, leading to reckless means of self-defence.”
Ian Butler, Broxbourne Chief Inspector said: “This launch is a positive step forward in our efforts to tackle violent crime and protect our young people however, it is just the beginning of a long journey and it is essential that we all continue to work together to tackle gang activity, knife crime and youth violence.
“The devastating consequences of knife crime are now reported in the national media on a daily basis and Alison Cope, whose son Joshua was murdered in Birmingham in 2013, really brought home the heartbreak caused to the families of young victims and offenders during her emotional presentation at the project launch.
“The Broxbourne Youth Intervention Project will work to proactively identify children who are most at risk of violent crime – whether that is as a potential perpetrator or victim - and will put measures in place to divert them from criminal activity and protect them.”
Junior Smart, founder of the SOS Gangs Project, a service which offers intensive support to vulnerable young people and those involved in the criminal justice system, was last to deliver a powerful presentation, sharing his experience and insight of gang affiliation and the success that his project, in partnership with St. Giles Trust, has had on the lives of young people and their families.
Drawing the event to a close Jeff Stack, Chair of the Broxbourne Community Safety Partnership stressed the significance of the multi-agency partnership and its aim: “Working in partnership with local agencies to protect our most vulnerable residents is a key priority for the Broxbourne Community Safety Partnership. This funding will go towards providing a holistic approach to tackling a number of issues that have increased in the Borough whilst helping those most at risk of becoming involved in crime.
“The Community Safety Partnership will work hard to ensure that the safety of our residents, particularly our youth, is preserved “
Hertfordshire Constabulary employs more than 3,000 police officers and staff and are supported by around 250 Special Constables.
Together they work hard to catch criminals, keep people safe and reduce crime.
The force also has specialist investigation teams who help support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
For more information please visit: www.herts.police.uk
Hertfordshire County Council
From fixing the roads to looking after children and adults who need care, Hertfordshire County Council is responsible for a wide range of services around Hertfordshire. This includes children’s services, adult care services, environmental and infrastructure, public health and community protection.
For more information, please visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk
St. Giles Trust
St Giles Trust is a charity helping people facing severe disadvantage to find jobs, homes and the right support they need. We help them to become positive contributors to local communities and wider society.
We passionately believe everybody is capable of changing their lives. Our mission is to help our clients achieve this through offering support from someone who has been there. Our peer-led services form the backbone of our work.
For more information please visit: https://www.stgilestrust.org.uk/
Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner
As Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd is responsible for appointing the county’s Chief Constable and holding him accountable for the way the local police force is run. He is also in charge of setting the policing budget and council tax precept.
As well as working closely with the police, David Lloyd works with a full range of other public services including health, social services, probation and other organisations that deal with a variety of issues related to crime, community safety or criminal justice. Together we are working to reduce crime, keep our communities safe and ensure that the criminal justice system works well.
For more information please visit: http://hertscommissioner.org/