Council takes action on serious violence

Published: Thursday, 18 April 2019

Cabinet approves serious gang violence strategy

Havering Council has outlined plans to tackle serious violence and knife crime in the borough.

The Serious Group Violence and Knife Crime Strategy was passed at the Council’s cabinet meeting last night in a bid to reduce the number of young people getting involved in knife crime and serious violence.

A three-year action plan will see the Council continuing to work in close partnership with local agencies such as the police, schools, youth services and the community in a bid to clamp down on crime.

It will aim to ‘deglamourise’ the culture associated with serious youth violence and will also seek to stop young people from carrying knives and to help them find alternatives to being in a gang. 

The three year action plan includes:

  • hosting  a serious violence summit in conjunction with Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham Councils
  • tackling knife crime and gangs by providing positive alternatives and exposing the damage that gangs do to gang members and society
  • early intervention for young people on the periphery of crime
  • protecting children from exploitation and county lines – gangs and organised crime networks who exploit children to sell drugs
  • continued working with different agencies to ensure that the information they hold is  shared properly.

Caroline Bruce, Havering's Director of Neighbourhoods, said:

“The aim of our strategy is to proactively tackle knife crime and gangs in Havering, to ensure we reach the most vulnerable young people as early as possible so we can stop them being exploited by criminal gangs and keep them away from a life of crime.

“To tackle youth violence we have to get knives off our streets, which may mean tougher penalties are needed to act as a deterrent for those who break the rules.  
“By working in partnership with local groups and organisations we hope that our strategy will pave the way for more community working in all areas, by providing more services for young people and working with employers to improve young people’s chances of finding apprenticeships and jobs.”