Hastings is to be included in a Home Office programme aiming to tackle gangs and youth violence.
As part of the scheme, the town will receive support from experts to better understand the nature of gang-related violence and exploitation, identify opportunities for collaborative working and share effective ways of tackling local challenges.
The Ending Gangs and Youth Violence programme has already helped 43 areas with tailored support and advice from a network of more than 100 specialists with frontline experience dealing with gang and youth related violence.
The programme will now help a further nine areas including Hastings and Eastbourne.
The new policy, Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation, sets out priorities for Government to deal with reducing violence including knife crime, tackling the abuse of vulnerable people in the drug trade through county lines, creating opportunities to divert youngsters away from gangs, protecting vulnerable locations, safeguarding gang associated girls and women, and early intervention with at risk youngsters.
Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley said: “Gang and youth violence has a devastating impact on young people, their families and local communities.
“That’s why today we are providing more targeted support for Hastings and Eastbourne, which will allow local police and authorities to identify
how best to address local challenges and identify the right measures to tackle gang-related violence and exploitation.
“Our new policy; Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation, sets out the Government’s six key priorities to deal with what drives violence and abuse by gangs and shows the Government’s continued determination to tackle this problem. We want to work with Hastings and Eastbourne and other towns and local areas to make this strategy a success.
“By expanding our successful programme we are sending a clear message to anyone involved in gang and youth violence: we are empowering the community to stop you.”
The policy was published following challenges identified by frontline workers and organisations, including the police and National Crime Agency.
Chief Inspector Paul Phelps, Hastings and Rother District Police Commander, said: “We have welcomed the opportunity to use the support and knowledge
that the Home Office has been able to bring in achieving our aims by including us in its Ending Gang and Youth Violence programme.”
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