Early Intervention Youth Fund
In June 2019, the Home Secretary announced Kent's PCC had been successful in bidding for £527,573 from the Government's Early Intervention Youth Fund.
The PCC said: 'This money allows us to look at diverting more young people at risk of exploitation by county lines gangs away from criminality and abuse; and better supporting young people who come into contact with the police to try and prevent future offending. There is also scope to improve our links with local schools to deliver more effective crime prevention messages.’
The largest share of this money (£439,327) has been allocated by the PCC to the St Giles Trust. The charity is undertaking three strands of work:
- A police custody liaison scheme to help young people identified as being at risk of exploitation. A St Giles Trust caseworker works with the young person to divert them away from the criminal justice system by helping them stay in education, find work, build self-esteem or develop better relationships with family or professionals.
- One-to-one intervention work with vulnerable young people who are involved in anti-social behaviour, at risk of criminalisation, or exploitation in North and West Kent. Separate work was being undertaken in East Kent.
- Schools work, delivering sessions to groups of young people, parents and carers. These provide educational messages on subjects including county lines, gangs, child sexual exploitation and knife crime – delivered by facilitators with lived experience of these issues.
A family-oriented leaflet has been produced which members of the public can download for their own use.