Police handed Â£600,000 fund to keep young people from falling into gangs in Northamptonshire
A Â£600,000 grant to tackle gang crime and serious violence in Northamptonshire has been handed to the county's police force.
The boost from central government will be used to prevent vulnerable young people from getting involved in violence and gang activity.
It comes after the countywide Operation Viper this summer to tackle gang crime spreading into Northamptonshire from major cities.
The £627,000 grant could fund interventions for young people who are at risk of becoming involved in violence and use specialist support to keep them in education and training.
Young people could also be mentored by an ex-gang member - now an experienced youth worker - to teach them about the risks of falling into gang activity.
The funding was awarded after a successful bid by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
He said: “This is fabulous news and I’m very pleased that the strength of the programme we have planned in Northamptonshire means that we will benefit from this extra funding.
“Gang activity is emerging as a significant issue in this county and all the evidence tells us that we can’t arrest our way out of the problem - we need to intervene early to give young people positive role models and opportunities for a life away from crime. This funding will help us to put effective programmes in place to support vulnerable young people and tackle crime.”
The money is part of a new pot from the Home Office that has been awarded through the Serious Youth Violence Early Intervention fund.
Assistant Chief Constable James Andronov from Northamptonshire Police, said: “Gang violence is a very real issue in Northamptonshire. We also need to look at how we can prevent young people from getting involved with gangs in the first place.
“This money will allow us to support those young people identified as being vulnerable to the influence of gangs. We will be using proven techniques to engage with young people with the purpose of resolving any offences they’ve been involved with and preventing re-offending.”