We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

Carrot and stick programme to reduce youth violence in 5 cities

Focused deterrence scheme to be piloted with funding from Home Office and Youth Endowment Fund

A diversion scheme successfully used in the US and Scotland to tackle gang related homicides is to be adopted by five English cities to combat serious youth violence.

The focused deterrence approach was pioneered in Boston in the mid-1990s to address the escalation in gun-related murders and was used effectively in Glasgow in 2008 to tackle the city’s territorial gang violence problem.   

The programme is based on a carrot and stick approach – offering offenders joined up help if they take up the process but imposing tough sanctions if they refuse to engage.

The Home Office and the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) are funding the new programme, investing £3 million and £4 million respectively to adopt the programme in in Coventry, Nottingham, Leicester, Manchester and Wolverhampton. Research has shown that - on average – Focused Deterrence strategies reduce crime by 33%.

It brings together the police, local councils, community organisations, health services, schools, colleges and probation services. It works by identifying and targeting individuals (aged 14-years and over) in a local area who are involved – or are at risk of becoming involved - in serious violence. Then by drawing on the collective resources and expertise of the partners, individuals are offered tailored support. This could include mentoring, access to education, training and employment opportunities, mental health services, housing advice or other services that address underlying issues in their lives, relationships or neighbourhoods.

However, if the offer of support is turned down and their violent behaviour continues, swift police and legal sanctions will be enforced.

The programme will be delivered by the following local Violence Reduction Units in the nominated cities:

Delivery will start from May 2023 and continue until August 2025.

The Home Office has invested up to £170m since 2019 into the development of 20 Violence Reduction Units across England and Wales.

Thee charity has commissioned the University of Hull to evaluate the project’s impact across the five cities. The research will provide new insight into how the strategy can be adapted and adopted to reduce violent crime in the UK.

Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “In March 2019 the Home Office committed to supporting the Youth Endowment Fund with a ten-year mandate and £200 million of funding to help prevent young people becoming involved in violence.

“Focused deterrence is proven to reduce crime. This £7 million programme will offer young people a route out, combining community support and mentoring to encourage them to seek help, as well as swift enforcement action to divert them away from violence”.

Jon Yates, Executive Director at the Youth Endowment Fund, said: “Focused Deterrence has worked around the world – reducing crime by over 30%. It’s time to know whether it can work in England. Violence is not inevitable – we can bring it down. The important thing is not about being tough on crime or being soft on crime. The important thing is being smart on crime - we need to do what works.”

Leave a Comment
View Comments 5
In Other News
Indirect victims of online offending no longer 'left in the dark'
Those who encourage serious self-harm could be jailed for five years
Force uses consultants to implement child protection recommendations
More News