criminal justice
local government
primary & secondary education
voluntary sector

Tackling and Preventing Violent Crime

criminal justice

local government

primary & secondary education

voluntary sector

08:45 - 16:25

Thursday 14 May 2020

Central London

This Violent Crime Forum will bring together public sector professionals to discuss the most effective preventative strategies to tackle the high violent crime rates across the UK. Delegates will gain a comprehensive overview of the latest policies, strategies and funding initiatives designed to combat and prevent violent crime, with a particular focus on youth. Moreover, case studies will provide participants with a unique insight into how charities, police forces and local authorities can work in tandem and take a public health approach to address the key drivers of violent behaviour and prevent violent crime amongst young people.


This multi-agency forum is specifically designed for Police, Local Authorities, Schools and the Voluntary Sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Youth Engagement Officers
  • Violent Crime Leads
  • Knife Crime Leads
  • Superintendents
  • Community Protection Leads
  • Neighbourhood Services Officers
  • Youth Workers
  • Housing Directors
  • Community Safety Officers
  • Youth Justice Officers
  • Probation Officers
  • Inspectors
  • Criminologists
  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • School Coordinators
  • Head Teachers
  • Social Workers

This Forum is also open to the Health Sector and the Private Sector to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Lib Peck, Director, London Violence Reduction Unit
  • Niven Rennie, Director – Violence Reduction Unit, Police Scotland
  • Derrick Campbell, Former Government Adviser on Knife Crime and Regional Director Commissioner, Independent Office for Police Conduct
  • Stuart Trayler, Interim Chief Executive, Growing Against Violence
  • Colin James, CEO, Gangs Unite
  • Senior Representative, Youth Justice Board
  • Councillor Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities and Equalities, Haringey Council
  • Richard Roach, Special Project Coordinator, and Jenny Oklikah, UK Managing Director, Fight for Peace
  • Javed Khan, Chief Executive, Barnardo’s
  • Dr Roger Grimshaw, Research Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
  • Senior Representative, London ACEs Hub
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Dr Roger Grimshaw, Research Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Exploring Current Priorities to Tackle and Prevent Violent Crime

  • Examining key trends in knife and crime and the Violence Reduction Unit’s (VRU) priorities in tackling and preventing violent crime in metropolitan cities following the implementation of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019
  • Discussing how the VRU facilitates a multi-agency approach by bringing together specialists in health, police, local government, probation and community organisations to learn from and apply the public health approach to violent crime
  • Sharing updates on the development of a long-term partnership strategy to tackle violence across London, for example with schools to cut school exclusions
  • Outlining how recent funding has been allocated to the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to conduct an urgent review of London’s homicides and most serious violent incidents since 2014

Lib Peck, Director, London Violence Reduction Unit (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Championing the Public Health Approach to Violent Crime

  • Discussing the ongoing work of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to tackle knife crime and weapon carrying among young men who are most affected, by adopting a long-term, public health approach to violence
  • Elaborating what the public health approach is and how it fosters collaboration with agencies across healthcare, education and social work to create long-term attitudinal change, in addition to enforcement
  • Learning from the Scottish VRU about the effective relationship-centred design for the public health approach in creating and measuring impact, overcoming challenges and preventing a further rise in crime
  • Encouraging community engagement to tackle gang violence through the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV), and to create community cohesion and integration by delivering projects that offer housing, educational, employment and addiction support

Niven Rennie, Director – Violence Reduction Unit, Police Scotland (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Exploring Sustainable Solutions to Tackling Violent Crime from a Police Perspective

  • Examining the reasons why offences involving knives and sharp instruments are on the rise in England and Wales, despite grand efforts to tackle them
  • Outlining key strategies the police force can implement to sustainably reduce violent crime rates in the long term, such as early intervention projects
  • Discussing how police can enforce the public health approach to violent crime to tackle deep-rooted and engrained socio-economic problems through better collaboration
  • Commenting on how police practice can be improved through changes in training, and ensuring a better understanding of the root causes of violent crime and the differences between drug, knife and gang violence in order to better address them

Derrick Campbell, Former Government Adviser on Knife Crime and Regional Director Commissioner, Independent Office for Police Conduct (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Developing Effective Strategies to Address Gang and Knife Crime

  • Outlining key aims to tackle gang and violent crime, including through improved data sharing on gangs, with the aim of reducing exploitation of young people through gang membership and reducing and preventing violent crime, especially knife crime
  • Discussing how the £822,000 from the Home Office’s Early Intervention Youth Fund is being implemented to help tackle youth violence, vulnerability and exploitation across the Thames Valley
  • Understanding the importance of greater information sharing between police and partners to effectively target those who cause more harm; learning from ex-gang members and awareness conferences to better understand how to tackle gang-related crime
  • Establishing partnerships and commissioning a range of services for Local Police Areas, and assessing the effectiveness of delivering early interventions, youth diversion and mentoring schemes

Mathew Barber, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Thames Valley (invited)


Case Study: Keeping the Community Safe from Serious Youth Violence – The Local Authority Perspective

  • Establishing the Community Safety Partnership responsible for the delivery of key community safety outcomes, such as violent, street and youth crime through a public health approach
  • Outlining the Safer for All strategy to help deliver the Council’s vision to prevent and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, by rebuilding and improving public confidence in policing and maintaining community safety
  • Developing the Young People at Risk Strategy, a ten-year plan to address root causes of serious youth violence by adopting a strengths-based, relationship-based, and trauma-informed approach for young people at all levels of risk
  • Delivering the strategy with a focus on early interventions and support packages to engage young people at risk and their families, encouraging a holistic, joined-up and whole family approach
  • Exploring the action plan that involves investing in youth work and community services including employment support through BAME career services and future leaders programmes; mental health support in Tottenham schools, and community parenting support in secondary schools

Councillor Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities and Equalities, Haringey Council (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Roundtable: Tackling the Rise of Violent Crime - Exploring Solutions and Overcoming Challenges

Facilitated by the Chair, this session will give delegates the opportunity to discuss in round tables different ways to overcome the persistent challenges that organisations are facing.

From funding and developing coherent and adequate strategies, to understanding and effectively addressing the deep rooted causes of violent crime, delegates will be able to share their challenges and receive advice from their peers.

Solutions to these challenges will be presented back to the room to ensure that all delegates are able to take away key pieces of knowledge they could implement within their own organisations.


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Exploring Effective Preventative Measures for Children in the Justice System

  • Outlining the Youth Justice Board’s (YJB) priorities for tackling child violence and improving outcomes for BAME and marginalised children at risk with the new standards set in 2019
  • Discussing the importance of the ‘child first, offender second’ approach to preventing children from entering the youth justice system and reducing reoffending
  • Establishing Youth Offending Teams to work with groups of children who are struggling the most, and using this evidence to develop best practice and evidence reports to improve local services

Senior Representative, Youth Justice Board (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Preventing and Protecting Young People Against Peer-to-Peer Violence and Exploitation

  • Recognising the importance of education in tackling the root causes of violent crime and delivering a series of evidence-led, preventative education programmes in secondary schools
  • Designing and implementing evidence-based programmes for young people that provide dynamic life skills and violence resistance education, reaching nearly 180,000 students in over 700 schools in London and beyond
  • Elaborating on the Knife Crime programme trialled and implemented across 13 colleges in London, which provide awareness training to 18-21 year olds
  • Working in partnership with academics, law enforcement and other service providers to ensure programmes are evidence-based and informed by best working practice

Stuart Trayler, Interim Chief Executive, Growing Against Violence (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Addressing Rising School Exclusions to Effectively Tackle Knife Crime

  • Contributing to the Back to School? 2019 report published by the APPG on Knife Crime and discussing key take-aways from the inquiry into the rise of knife crime
  • Exploring the 56% rise in school exclusions since 2014 and establishing a correlation between rising levels of exclusions, knife crime and county lines gang exploitation
  • Discussing how to effectively safeguard vulnerable pupils and ensure they have access to effective education, by ensuring the right safeguarding and early intervention protocols are in place, championed through a multi-agency approach in all schools
  • Outlining the aims and outcomes of the ‘YouTurn’ anti-gang project in south London to support children and young people at risk of being involved in gangs and violent crime
  • Highlighting the crucial need to tackle the underlying causes that result in vulnerable children being involved in knife crime, such as disrupted family lives, school exclusions, or traumatic early experiences

Javed Khan, Chief Executive, Barnardo’s (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Understanding the Importance of Addressing ACEs to Prevent Crime

This session will discuss the importance of adopting a trauma-informed approach to tackling violent crime, in particular by addressing adverse childhood experiences. The London ACEs Hub will explore what can be done to minimise the effects of adverse childhood experiences; and further discuss how Trauma Informed Care and the provision of highly attuned caring relationships can heal many of the dysregulating effects of early trauma, improving resilience and life prospects, and contributing to the prevention of violent crime.

Senior Representative, London ACEs Hub (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Understanding Why People Turn to Gang Culture and Violence

  • Understanding why young, vulnerable and disadvantaged people find comfort in gang membership and culture, especially in deprived parts of the community
  • Tackling misconceptions about gang affiliation and membership in order to better understand how to tackle the issue with appropriate and realistic solutions
  • Outlining the preventative and interceptive outcomes that Gangs Unite provide through transformative youth services including high risk gang conflict resolution/mediation, mentoring and support for training and employment
  • Exploring the MEND and Mentoring through Sport programmes which focus on personal development, behaviour modification and attitude re-alignment, to encourage positive behaviour in young people and healthy relationships with peers

Colin James, CEO, Gangs Unite (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Providing Viable Opportunities for Young People at Risk of Falling into Violence and Crime

  • Opening the Fight for Peace London Academy in Newham due to high levels of child poverty, lack of educational attainment and having the 3rd highest level of serious youth violence in 2011/12
  • Highlighting how boxing and martial arts combined with education and personal development can realise the potential of young people in communities affected by crime, violence and social exclusion
  • Delivering twilight sessions to schools and organisations working with young people aged 7-16 years who are at risk of being excluded from school and/or becoming involved in crime, gangs and violence with early intervention and alternative education resources
  • Establishing a professional monitoring and evaluation system to measure the impact of the programmes on young people via Fight for Peace’s theory of change
  • Achieving demonstrable transformational impact with 94% of those who graduate from the Pathways educational programme progressing into further education, employment or training, with 68% less likely to commit a crime

Richard Roach, Special Project Coordinator, and Jenny Oklikah, UK Managing Director, Fight for Peace (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 47,513 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the year ending June 2019,  around a 44% increase since March 2011. This increase is also accompanied by a slight shift towards younger victims and perpetrators, as analysis by the Home Office has identified that more than 17,500 boys aged 14 carry a knife of weapon in England and Wales. Police statistics also show that young people aged 15 to 19 are responsible for half of all knife crime across London’s boroughs. Statistics also show that the victims of serious, gang motivated knife crime are predominantly male (92 per cent), young (80 per cent under 25 years of age) and from a BAME background.

To address the epidemic of violent crime, the Government released the Serious Violence Strategy in April 2018, centring on the four themes of county lines and drug misuse, early intervention and prevention, supporting communities and local partnerships, and law enforcement. Following this, the Home Office announced it will be recruiting 20,000 more police officers over the next three years, with £750 million of funding for 2020-21 the first year of the recruitment drive. Police funding has also been increased by over £1 billion in 2019/20, including £100 million for the Serious Violence Fund which provided £63.4 million to 18 police forces worst affected by violent crime. £1.6 million has also been allocated to help improve the quality of data on serious violence, particularly knife crime, to support planning and operations. Additionally, the Government introduced the Offensive Weapons Act 2019, allowing police extra powers to seize dangerous items and ensure knives are less likely to end up on the streets. Moreover, The Mayor of London along with the Metropolitan Police have established a Violent Crime Task Force to combat serious violent crime by introducing stop and search powers, and increased funding to policing by £140 million.

The £200 million Youth Endowment Fund was also set up to deliver early interventions to prevent youth offending. In fact, more focus should be placed on safeguarding the youth, especially in schools, as the Back To School? report, published by the APPG on Knife Crime in October 2019 suggests that there is a link between school exclusions and youth violence. According to the report, permanent exclusions have risen by 70% since 2012, meaning that more children are now vulnerable and at risk of getting into violence and gang related activities, due to other underlying causes such as lack of housing, youth services and employment opportunities.

In order to tackle the violent crime epidemic, including knife and gang crime, it is crucial to understand the root causes that put young people at risk and drive them to violence. It is imperative that all sectors of society, including the police, local authorities, health, education and community groups work together to tackle youth violence by taking into account young people’s lived experience. The public sector must take a public health and trauma-informed approach to violent crime to keep our society safe, keep our children safe and effectively reduce violent crime across the country.

You May Also Like