More than £800,000 is to be spent in Nottingham over the next three years to reduce youth violence and tackle street gangs.

The money, totalling £831,675, has been secured from the Youth Endowment Fund and was formally accepted at a meeting of Nottingham City Council’s Executive Board this afternoon (Tuesday).

The three-year programme will be called Another Chance and will work with youngsters aged between 14 and 25, targeting the areas of Basford, the Meadows, Radford and Top Valley.

Based on the successful Focused Deterrence project, which was developed in Boston, US, in the mid-1990s, it will run until May of 2026.

It recognises that the majority of serious violence is associated with a small group of people who are themselves very likely to be victims of violence, trauma and extremely challenging circumstances. Their involvement is often driven by exploitation, victimisation and self-protection.

Focused Deterrence involves:

  • Support: help for people involved in violence to access positive support and social services;
  • Community engagement: engaging the wider community to make clear they want violence to stop and those involved to be safe, supported and encouraged to reintegrate into their neighbourhoods. Projects will often arrange engagement between the people who are the focus of the intervention and victims’ family members, reformed former group members, and faith leaders;
  • Deterrence: clear communication of the consequences of violence and swift and certain enforcement if violence occurs.

Another Chance will be sponsored by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, Caroline Henry. The grant funding will pay for three new Targeted Youth Support Workers, a Researcher, a Specialist Mental Health Practitioner, Business Support and a Hub Manager.

The project has a number of aims over the three-year period, including:

  • Reductions in weapon-enabled offences in Nottingham where victims are under 25 years old;
  • Reductions in weapon-enabled offences in Nottingham where the known offenders are under 25 years old;
  • Increase in community confidence in policing in target neighbourhoods;
  • Significantly reduced violent offending by children and young people included in the project;
  • Increased proportion of children and young people included in the project registered with a GP and dentist, in education (and attending), training or employment and registered as unemployed with the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Youth Endowment Fund is a charity with a £200 million endowment and a mission to prevent children and young people from becoming involved in violence.

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Education, Councillor Cheryl Barnard, said: “We’re delighted to have successfully bid for this funding. It provides an opportunity for the Youth Justice Service to work in partnership with the Violence Reduction Unit, Police, Probation and communities to implement a model which will support at risk children and young adults living in the city aged 14 to 25, who are impacted by serious violence and exploitation, to access pathways of support.

“It will allow us to recruit more Targeted Youth Support Workers who already carrying out work to protect young people from harm, along with a psychiatric nurse and a business support worker, for the next three years.

“This will build on the existing Exploitation and Violence Reduction Hub which aims to prevent young people entering the criminal justice system, along with Home Office funded work that will run on a similar timeframe to support girls and young women at risk of violence.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry, who oversees the work of the Violence Reduction Unit, said: “I am delighted that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have been chosen to receive this funding to pilot the focussed deterrent approach to crime prevention.

“This is a recognition of the work our VRU has already been doing to work closely with partners to create a holistic package of prevention measures for young people on the fringes of crime. When it comes to crime, it is true that prevention is better than the cure. By giving these young people access to support and opening doors for them, in many cases it can help them choose a different, more positive future for themselves.”