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Javid doubles funding for youth crime prevention scheme

The Home Secretary is increasing the money earmarked for the Early Intervention Youth Fund from £11m to £22m.

The youth intervention fund is being doubled to £22 million (PA)
The youth intervention fund is being doubled to £22 million (PA)

Cash to stop children and teenagers becoming involved in violence is being doubled after a sharp rise in crime rates, Sajid Javid has announced.

The Home Secretary is increasing the money earmarked for the Early Intervention Youth Fund (EIYF) from £11 million to £22 million.

It comes after police-recorded crime in England and Wales hit the highest level in more than a decade as killings, knife offences and robberies surged.

Mr Javid made the announcement as he visited an exhibition in north London about Ben Kinsella, who was stabbed to death when he was 16 years old.

The tour included a highly emotional video about the impact Ben’s death has had on his family and friends.

Targeted at young people, the exhibition aims to show the real consequences of knife crime and concludes with a mock-up prison cell where the Home Secretary was greeted by an actor playing a prisoner who explained what life in jail was like.

Mr Javid said: “We all want to do much more to combat serious violence, especially knife crime.

“What I have seen here today at The Ben Kinsella Trust is a reminder of the impact such terrible crime has on family and friends.

“What we have announced today is, first of all, a doubling of the youth intervention fund to £22 million and when it comes to policing, of course we want to give policing all the support it deserves.

“That’s why I think the extra funding, upto £460 million, going to policing this year will help make a difference.”

In the 12 months to March, forces logged 5.5 million crimes – a rise of 11% compared with the previous year and the highest tally for an equivalent period since 2005/06.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on July 19 also found the proportion of recorded crimes that result in a charge or summons has fallen below one in 10, while officer numbers are the lowest in at least 22 years.

Ben Kinsella was killed in a knife attack (Metropolitan Police/PA)

ONS figures showed that excluding cases linked to terror attacks and the Hillsborough disaster, the number of recorded homicides increased by 12% in 2017/18 from the previous year, from 627 to 701.

Police registered 40,147 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument – a 16% rise and the highest number since the start of the decade.

George Kinsella, Ben’s father, said the rising levels of knife crime were “devastating”.

He said: “It’s devastating to pick a paper up on a weekly, daily, basis and see there has been another fatality.

“It brings it back home to us what happened to us and we feel for the families that have lost these victims to these terrible crimes.

“Any money that comes into system to help educate kids against the dangers of  knives has got to be a good thing.”

The Government has faced criticism that some of the spike in violent crime has been caused by lack of youth services.

The EIYF is available to police and crime commissioners to fund projects in their areas, and opens for bids on Monday.

Patrick Green, chief executive officer of The Ben Kinsella Trust, said: “For too long the conversation has just been about enforcement and if we look at what really works with knife crime, it’s stopping young people very early on.

“No young person is born with a knife in their hand. It’s learnt behaviour.”



From Belfast Telegraph