A NEW unit aimed at combatting violence is investing more than £20,000 in additional youth activities this summer.
Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence (CURV) is spending £20,977.38 on additional youth outreach work during the summer holidays.
Work will be targeted on areas hardest hit by serious violence in the force area.
Funding will support a range of activities across Cleveland including sports’ coaching and music.
Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Steve Turner said: “It’s important that our young people are given positive activities to engage them and divert them away from crime.
“If a young person is heavily involved in sport, music or any other positive activity, they are far less likely to either become involved in or fall prey to crime and antisocial behaviour.
“This is especially true of the long, summer holidays. That’s when school or college does not provide focussed activity and structure to a young person’s day.”.
More chance of conflict
The summer months – particularly school holidays – are a time when serious violence increases. That’s because people spend more time outside and in public spaces so there are more opportunities for conflict.
This was particularly true of a hot spell in August 2020. During that time, Cleveland saw the highest national monthly volumes of hospital admissions for injury with a sharp object in eight years.
This summer’s funding will support the following activities aimed at young people:
- Weekly youth outreach sessions in Parkfield and Oxbridge, Newtown and Yarm
- A multi-agency community safety event in Stockton
- Twice weekly outreach sessions in Central ward Middlesbrough including provision of and signposting to positive activity
- Weekly football outreach sessions for six weeks in North Ormesby and Newport
- Five centre-based youth sessions in Grangetown
- Five centre-based youth sessions in South Bank
- Four youth outreach sessions in Eston
- A programme of creative arts and music in Coatham
Investment follows a request by the Policing Minister for details of extra activities, which the police, community safety and criminal justice partners plan over the summer to reduce the seasonal rise in violence.
The council’s Streetz Team in Redcar and Cleveland, The Junction in Middlesbrough and the Cornerhouse Youth Project, in Stockton will provide most of the summer outreach programme.
In addition, Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation Premier League Kicks (PL Kicks) will deliver the extra football sessions in North Ormesby and Newport
The funding is one of the first initiatives from CURV – Cleveland’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU.) CURV was established after a successful campaign by the PCC and his team.