Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne has secured £890,616 from the government’s Early Intervention Youth Fund to help steer local young people away from a life of crime and inject positive youth projects back into the communities.
Earlier this year, in response to the recent national increases in serious crime, the government published its Serious Violence Strategy, announcing potential funding for projects which would encourage young people to make positive choices instead of getting involved in crime.
The PCC, working closely with MP Amber Rudd, designed a model to bid for part of this funding and has had confirmation today from the Home Office that she has been successful.
Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye said, “I was so pleased to hear the fantastic news that our bid to the Government’s Early Intervention Youth Fund which I set up as Home Secretary has succeeded. We are securing £890,616 from the Home Office to assist in initiatives designed to engage with young people and to steer them away from a life of crime and towards more positive life choices.
“This funding will give Sussex Police opportunities to reduce anti-social behaviour whilst at the same time helping to turn around young lives, which may otherwise have been blighted by negative consequences. For Hastings, it will mean we can expect additional support which is very welcome, particularly as I have been hosting regular public anti-social behaviour meetings in Hastings since 2014, the most recent of which was on 14 September this year, when Katy Bourne and local councillors joined me on the panel.”
Mrs Bourne comments, “I am delighted by the outcome of our bid to the Home Office. From speaking to local residents, I know that anti-social behaviour has become a disruptive issue for our local communities. However, the first answer is surely not to criminalise our young people, we must instead bolster our resources to assess their needs and stage a positive early intervention. We do not wish to commit them to a life of crime before first understanding their circumstances.
“Too often young people from troublesome backgrounds fall into the ‘wrong crowd’ and focus too heavily on the negatives in their life with no positive distraction. This then makes them a prime vulnerable target for organised crime groups who seek to coerce them into carrying out their criminal biddings.
“This extra funding will help the VCSE sector, schools, health, statutory partners and the police engage positively with under 18’s at risk of committing serious violence and those who have already come to the attention of the police.
“This is great news for Sussex and I will be announcing soon specifically how this funding will be affecting positive change at a local level.”
Notes to the editor: Amber is pictured with Katy Bourne