Decision details

Tackling Youth Violence: Strategy Update

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


This report contains a broad summary of the work to date to develop the council’s 10 year approach to reducing serious youth violence. This was agreed at March 2018 cabinet.

It includes an overview of the governance arrangements, an outline of the workstreams and their work to date, our future proposals for delivery, the community engagement and participation work and the allocation of spend for year one of the funding to reduce serious youth violence.

Cabinet is asked to endorse and agree these proposals.


In introducing the report, the Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety: Councillor Mohammed Seedat, Annie Hudson: Strategic Director for Children’s Services and Kristian Aspinall, Assistant Director – Community Safety highlighted that:


·         This report was an interim update on the Council approach to youth violence in the borough.

·         The report set out how council services would be realigned to ensure prevention.

·         The key aspects would be highlighted by officers and a number of stakeholders have already contributed to preparation of the report.

·         Report follows on from the Cabinet report “Tackling Violence Against Young People: First Steps” which was approved in March 2018. The overall strategy was agreed at that meeting and Officers have been developing the strategy over the last 15/18 months.

·         Officers had worked extensively with the community to understand the root causes of violence that affects young people and had involved many stakeholders in developing and preparing the strategy.

·         There had been considerable investment in this area which was making a positive impact on addressing the causes of violence.


Inspector Jack Rowlands addressed Cabinet and gave an overview of Divert programme which was a police initiative and started in Brixton in 2015. The programme was aimed at supporting people (adults and young people) who enter Brixton custody by embedding specialist workers in custody, including youth workers, which allowed for a more preventative approach from drawing young people further into crime.


The Co-Leader of the Greens, Councillor Nicole Griffiths thanked Officers for their work on the strategy, she asked that greater use of outreach teams be considered and also advised that the Divert programme needed more resources as well as more accessible information on the Council website.


Cabinet Members made the following comments and observations:

·         The strategy was a good concerted effort in addressing the actual problems of violence. The Council needed to be able to adapt the strategy and learning needed to be ongoing.

·         Need to have a better understanding and assurance that the Council was able to deliver its wider legal equality duties.

·         Report was in line with the borough plan but needed to ensure that success of the strategy was measured and reported back to Cabinet.

·         It was still difficult to understand practically how to move young people away from crime but this report was a good step forward.



In response to some of the questions raised, Officers advised that:


·         There was an overarching ambition which could help to measure the impact of the strategy.

·         There will be an independent academic evaluation in measuring the work streams and effectiveness of the strategy.

·         The community were willing to get involved and already the strategy had considerable input from a wide range of stakeholders.

·         The voluntary sector were extremely active and the different community groups had some overlapping memberships who provided feedback to officers and will be key partners in the future.

·         With regard to child sexual exploitation, there had been much work around the safeguarding children’s partnership and although it sat outside of this strategy there were significant links and officers were working to ensure the two were joined up.

·         London’s Violence Reduction Unit was set to pilot an evidence based programme in 10 schools in Lambeth focussing on healthy relationships and resilience.



1) That progress on the serious youth violence strategy be noted.

2) To endorse the current and planned future approach.

3) That an annual report of progress is reported to Full Council in early 2020

4) To recommend to Full Council to adopt the programme as outlined in this      report in early 2020.

5) That the first draft of the strategy be presented to Cabinet in May 2020.


Report author: Kristian Aspinall

Publication date: 23/12/2019

Date of decision: 16/12/2019

Decided at meeting: 16/12/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 04/01/2020

Accompanying Documents: