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Islington launches Youth Crime Strategy to tackle rise in youth violence

Islington Council is to adopt a new Youth Crime Strategy to tackle a rise in violent youth crime in the borough.

Islington, like other areas of London, has seen an increase in youth crime in the past year.  Tragically two teenagers, Alan Cartwright and Stefan Appleton, have been killed in Islington in 2015.
 
Islington’s new Youth Crime Strategy, which has been drawn up in partnership with Islington Police, lays out an action plan to tackle youth crime.  Key points include:
 
• A dedicated gangs team
A new, dedicated gangs team will bring together police, the youth offending service, probation service, and children’s social work teams. The team will disrupt gang organisation, acquire intelligence about gang membership, persuade gang members to change their behaviour and take enforcement action, and track down adults who recruit children into gangs and form a link with organised crime
 
 Action and enforcement against offenders
The council   will adopt enhanced powers using Integrated Offender Management to “triage” offenders by their behaviour and risk of offending. The most risky offenders will be subject to enhanced enforcement and supervision which can include confiscation of belongings such as cycles, mopeds and TVs where is associated offending, issuing criminal behaviour orders and injunctions, and making full use of landlord powers including serving eviction notices.  All young people that come to the attention of police will be visited at their homes.
 
 Action to stop more young teenagers being lured into criminal gangs
The council will increase detached youth work with individual young people who may be at risk, and strengthen its partnership with schools to make sure they refer children they are concerned about.  It will also launch a new service for all children who are on “alternative provision” and not attending mainstream schools.
 
 The community working together to help tackle youth crime
A recognition that the whole community – parents, families, neighbours, young people themselves, shops as well as the council, police and schools – have a big part to play in helping stop youth violence.  Make sure children and young people have a chance to talk about things that are worrying them.  Help residents and the community report crime, and campaign with the community against knife crime.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Like other parts of London Islington has seen a disturbing rise in youth crime in the last year.  Horrifically, two teenagers have been murdered this year, leaving our communities deeply traumatised and angry.
 
“Together with Islington police and the community we are committed to taking clear actions - including the new gangs team and tougher enforcement – to make Islington a safe borough for children and young people.”
 
Cllr Joe Caluori, Islington Council’s executive member for children and young people said: “We know a small minority of young people in Islington are involved in crime.  It’s vital we not only change their behaviour, but help to stop a new generation getting involved.
 
“We will build on the good work of our Family Intervention Team to make sure it is available to more families, especially teenagers with less serious problems, so they are able to take early action.  We will also make sure we have enough detached youth workers to respond in areas where children are being drawn into crime.”
 
Police Borough Commander for Islington, Catherine Roper, said: "The worrying rise in youth related crime, which is not unique to Islington, is a major policing priority and we are determined to reverse this unacceptable trend.

"Working closely and in unison with the local authority is fundamental in reducing crime across the borough.

"The Youth Crime Strategy shows both the police's and the local authority's commitment to make Islington one of the safest boroughs in London and we fully support its content and we will strive to aid its objectives."
 
To read the Youth Crime Strategy report see http://democracy.islington.gov.uk/documents/s5058/Youth%20Crime%20Strategy%20Document%20Executive%20July%202015.pdf
 
The strategy will be adopted by Islington Council’s executive on Thursday July 16.