Commissioner approves large county-wide initiative to tackle knife and serious violent crime
A major new initiative to tackle knife and serious violent crime across the county is to be funded by Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.
The £280,000 scheme aims to safeguard 200 children and young adults in Hertfordshire who are at risk of being drawn into gang activity and other serious offending.
This week Mr Lloyd approved a £140,000 Community Safety Grant from his office which will be matched by Hertfordshire County Council and District councils.
The money will be used to recruit additional SOS St Giles’ Trust youth project workers over the next year who will focus on early intervention and targeted help for young people at risk.
Mr Lloyd said: “Hertfordshire remains a low crime area with much less knife and serious crime than many parts of the country. But we are not immune from national trends and in Hertfordshire we have criminals travelling in from London and across county lines.
“Understandably this is a key public concern that I share, and I am committed to making a real difference and combating it.
“I have agreed this substantial funding as we need to prevent these vulnerable children and young people being forced in to crime.

“The grant will enable Crime Panels to be set up across the county involving the police, schools, councils and children services to identify those at risk.
“Last year I funded a successful pilot of this scheme in Broxbourne and now is the right time to expand their work out across Hertfordshire.”
Broxbourne Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Roy Stammers said: “Unfortunately, nationally we have seen an increase in knife crime and Hertfordshire has also been affected by this.
“It’s now more important than ever that we work together with our partners and the community to help safeguard some of the most vulnerable in our society – our children.
“With this increase in knife carrying and gang-related activity, our collective efforts in identifying and targeting risk is essential.
“The St Giles Trust works closely with us, a number of our local schools, other partners and members of the community to help show the realities and risks of being in a gang through their SOS+ Project.

“As well as delivering assemblies around topics such as gangs, county lines and child sexual exploitation, their case workers – who are former gang members – work closely with students who might be at risk of becoming involved with gangs or of placing themselves at other risk.
“By being able to engage and build an initial rapport with younger people, alongside schools, the trust can help deter them from a falsely glamorised lifestyle and offer them support and advice, which enables them to envision a better future by becoming contributory members of society.”
As part of the scheme local schools will be offered the opportunity to refer high risk young people in to an intensive support service to disrupt and divert them away from crime and joining gangs.
St Giles Trust is a charity helping people to change their lives through support and guidance. The aim to help them become positive contributors to local communities.
Police officers and council’s across Hertfordshire will engage with the project through their Community Safety Partnerships to identify and assist those needing safeguarding.

Youth Offending Teams in the Hertfordshire have identified where offences are categorised as “serious violent crime” knife possession is the most common offence. The most common age of offending is for age 15-16.
Andy Stovold, Head of Community Partnerships at Three Rivers Council, who led the bid said: “The ten community safety partnerships across Hertfordshire along with the Children’s Safegurding Partnership, Adult Safeguarding Board and Public Health are collaborating to ensure there is a robust response to the risks of young people being involved in serious violence and criminal exploitation.
“Many of the District and Borough based Community Safety Partnership are identifying young people at risk of violent crime and exploitation and additional funding from the PCC will assist the local partnership in protecting those young people from further harm.
“By developing a co-ordinated response we will be identifying young people at risk and ensuring they and their families are supported to address their risk taking behaviour.”

Last year Broxbourne Community Safety Partnership was awarded a grant of £256,975, spread over three years, in one of the largest awards ever provided by the Commissioner.
The Police and Crime Commissioner oversees a Community Safety Grant which supports work with partner organisations (such as community safety partnerships) that have a vital part to play in keeping Hertfordshire’s communities safe.
Grant applicants are asked to consider how their proposed projects align with the aims of the Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan, as well as with local priorities.
The Commissioner attaches conditions to the grant, which help him oversee how well the money is spent on behalf of local communities and to ensure that there is transparency and accountability. Annual reports are requested which provide information on progress and evidence of effectiveness.
Grant recipients need to make sure their activities focus on the needs of the public, particularly victims of crime, ensuring that offenders make amends and pay back for the cost of crime, including setting out plans to apply greater business sense. In delivering against the Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan, the Commissioner envisages that these grants will contribute towards securing crime and disorder reduction in Hertfordshire.
Click the link here to see how the grants were allocated from this fund for the 2018/19 financial year.