£370k grant to help tackle youth crime in Sandwell
Sandwell has been given more than £300,000 of government money to tackle youth crime which is plaguing the borough.
A new Sandwell Council report has highlighted that West Bromwich and Smethwick are particular hotspots.
The money, £372,520 in total, has been earmarked for intervention programmes aimed at children in Years 6 and 7 at school.
Smethwick neighbourhood police inspector, Colin Gallier, said: “Both areas have experienced higher than average crime, which includes youth crime.
"Violent crime, including robbery and knife crime, are key contributors.
“We emphasise the need for support and diversion for young people and their families to prevent offending or reoffending.
“When we identify youths who are threatening our communities, we ensure all options are open, including arrest, civil orders and criminal behaviour orders.”
A successful bid was made by the council in partnership Sandwell Children’s Trust and West Midlands Police.
The cash has come from the Government’s Supporting Families Against Youth Crime fund, which is providing £9.5 million to 21 local authorities across the country.
Sandwell Council bosses have now drawn up a list of programmes and initiatives on how best to spend the cash.
They will decide whether to give their plans the go ahead at the council’s cabinet meeting tomorrow, but measures are expected to focus on children who are making the transition from primary to secondary school, when they are vulnerable to being drawn into crime.
Their families will be supported, while one-to-one mentoring sessions will be offered to pupils who are deemed at risk of falling into crime.
Lesley Hagger, Sandwell Council’s executive director for children’s services, said: “This extra money will help us and our partners continue to help vulnerable young people and make Sandwell a safer place.”