“The council should reduce the impact of crime on young people”
The Equality Commission challenged us to find new ways of tackling youth violence, and reduce the impact it has on Lambeth’s young people. We want to go even further than that, setting ourselves the aspiration that all “young people in Lambeth should be free from violence”.
The council will achieve this by developing the borough’s first “Tackling violence against young people” strategy. This will adopt a new approach to the issue by addressing the fundamental risk factors which cause violence to occur in the first place, based on the public health approach - rather than purely enforcement, diversion and intervention - as we have previously. It will be the first time Lambeth as a borough brings together all its work into a single place with a single vision and purpose for us to remove the risk of youth violence from our young people – both now, and for future generations.
The strategy will involve new and old partners – from the statutory sector and across the community. To be successful, it must be developed and owned by the community and young people as well as the statutory bodies, and it must work with and enhance the good work that already takes place across Lambeth’s communities every day.
The strategy will change how Lambeth Council and partners approach violence against young people. It will become part of all of our work, not just specialist teams. Preventing youth violence will be a key goal for all staff, and all areas of work have a role to play in achieving our vision.
Finally, the strategy must be for the long term – whilst there are immediate improvements we can and will deliver on in 2018, to fundamentally change the nature of violence and how we prevent it requires a generational shift that will take a decade or longer. We will commit to the principles developed during the strategy, and the knowledge that work done now may only see success in many years to come.