Islington Council has announced their new 5-year plan for improving Youth Safety across the borough.
The Council will focus on early intervention and targeted support for vulnerable young people as well as addressing the disproportionate impact of the youth justice sector on young Black people.
The council will use the 5-year strategy to continue to reduce young people’s involvement in the criminal justice system, something that has seen Islington Council reduce the number of knife crime injury victims under 25 has fallen by more than 46% since 2017.
The strategy’s many initiatives include:
- using information to identify families who may need more support, and targeting robust support at individuals who are likely to re-offend, before they start doing so;
- establishing a Youth Safety Delivery Group, co-chaired by a young person, to keep track of progress and drive improvements, hand-in-hand with community partners and statutory organisations;
- working with the London Violence Reduction Unit to help parents and carers keep their children safe and improve their peer support networks;
- extending social, emotional and mental health support services up to 25-year-olds, so appropriate support is available in the transition to adulthood;
- working to keep children and young people in school and maximising academic and vocational achievement;
- screening a powerful and educational knife crime prevention film in secondary schools, produced by the Love and Loss group of bereaved families;
- addressing inequality and disproportionality within the youth and criminal justice system and beyond.
Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:
“Keeping our young people safe is our number one priority in Islington. But we can’t do that alone and working with local partners on this is a vital part of our strategy.
“By working together, alongside young people, parents, carers and the wider community, we can keep local people safe, reduce crime and also steer some of our most vulnerable young people away from crime and towards a brighter future, in which they can reach their full potential.
“We were one of the first councils in the country to approach youth safety from a safeguarding perspective, recognising that many offenders have suffered childhood trauma, discrimination and exploitation.
“Prevention and early intervention is key, and this new five-year strategy outlines new and innovative ways to keep our young people out of harm’s way – and stop many more from ever becoming a victim or perpetrator.”