Supporting young people and keeping them safe, happy, and healthy is key to Croydon Council’s new Youth Justice Service, which works with young people to reduce levels of offending.
The latest Youth Justice Plan, which was approved at full council on Wednesday, 13 December, builds on the work already being done by the council to improve outcomes for young people.
Croydon is home to 94,000 under-18s – more than anywhere else in London – and the safety and wellbeing of young people is a priority for Executive Mayor Jason Perry.
The council works closely with partners to run preventative programmes with children as young as nine, and with schools to prevent exclusions.
This year, the council awarded grants totalling £140,000 from London’s Violence Reduction Unit to outreach youth programmes that focus on intervention, to deter young people from crime. The money funded mentoring, sports activities and support into education and jobs, in central Croydon, New Addington, Shrublands, Thornton Heath and Purley.
The Youth Justice Service supports some of the borough’s most vulnerable young people – those involved in the criminal justice system – and works with their families to address the factors that have led to their situation. Working with partners, the service makes sure the young people are safe and helps to raise their aspirations and provide better opportunities.
Over the last year, the service has been tackling knife crime among young people – by identifying those at risk and making sure the voice of local communities, families and young people are heard.
Alongside the Youth Justice Plan, the Safer Croydon Partnership is developing a three-year plan to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG). The council is working with the police, community groups and other partners, and is listening to the views of communities, to help make women and girls feel safe.
“Keeping our borough’s 94,000 children and young people safe is a key priority. Addressing the root causes of youth violence is so important and we have been investing in programmes that focus on early intervention.
“Our Youth Justice Service works with some of our most vulnerable young people and this plan shows our commitment to continue to work closely with our partners and our communities to keep our young people safe, happy, and healthy.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon