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Specialist youth workers to help tackle knife crime in Gedling

Specialist youth workers are being recruited in an effort to prevent knife crime in Gedling borough

A third of a million pounds is being spent on the plan by Nottinghamshire County Council between now and March 2021.

With close co-ordination with Nottinghamshire Police, the workers will aim to use intelligence to target young people they believe may be at risk of becoming involved in knife crime.

There will be four full-time youth workers working across Nottinghamshire, including Gedling.

31 three-hour staffed sessions at youth centres throughout the county.

The project is being run by Nottinghamshire County Council and aims to expand on the services already run by its youth service and youth clubs.

A report on the issue of knife crime said the workers will “target the most vulnerable and challenging young people with focused youth work programmes, which concentrate on their interests, which may include sports, music, and creative arts, taking them into a different environment and providing a bespoke learning experience”.

The leader of the council, Conservative councillor Kay Cutts, who represents Radcliffe-on-Trent, said the council had taken a “holistic look at knife crime, which I think all of us are appalled by almost every day of the week when something dreadful happens somewhere in the country”.

County_Hall_Nottingham
PICTURED: County Hall

The leader of the Ashfield Independents, Councillor Jason Zadrozny, added: “Obviously I welcome this. Knife crime is an abhorrent plague.

“I do think this is a bit of a sticking plaster. Over the last five or six years the council has taken an axe to youth services, and youth clubs are few and far between.

“So while I do welcome this, I think we need to think about what we can do to bolster the full youth service to see if we can engage more young people in a constructive way.”

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Councillor John Peck, who represents Sherwood Forest for Labour, said: “It’s going to have to be much more long term that this. These things take a long time to filter through. It’s not something you can do for a couple of months and forget about, it has to keep going.”

Chris Barnfather, who represents Newstead for the Conservatives, said: “It’s important we do our utmost to maintain (current) youth services, and it’s important that we encourage to make more funding available in order to not only support the current provision, but also to try to increase that.”

Paddy Tipping, police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire, added:  “It is so important that young people understand that carrying a knife is not clever but very dangerous and the earlier we can make sure that they know that, the better.   

“This is a very positive move and demonstrates that we are all working together to tackle knife crime in Nottinghamshire.”

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