New government funding to help young people in Sussex

The increase in offences involving knives has reached its highest level on record, according to the latest Home Office statistics and, sadly, Worthing has not proved immune to this epidemic with three such incidents reported last month.

During last week’s campaign as part of Operation Sceptre, police forces across the country –including Sussex Police - have been visiting schools to inform and educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives.

Tim Drew

Tim Drew

They have also opened amnesty bins for people to hand in knives and take them off the streets.

According to the National Crime Agency, the number of county lines, which involve major city gangs expanding their drug networks, has more than doubled in a year to 2,000 across the UK with vulnerable young people being targeted and exploited and encouraged to carry knives.

| Also in the news - staff and police have been praised for their response to an incident at a Worthing school; these are the Worthing streets that have seen the most anti-social behaviour; and a National Express coach which operates between Eastbourne and Bournemouth will no longer stop in Worthing from next month |

In order to help counter this, police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne has secured £891,616 from the Government’s Early Intervention Youth Fund to foster diversionary activities for young people across Sussex and strengthen community safety partnerships.

This funding will help the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, schools, health, statutory partners and the police to engage positively with vulnerable under 18s and those who have already come to the attention of the police and the commissioner intends to capitalise further on funding opportunities.

Assistant chief constable Nick May said: “We are keenly aware of the traction that the topic of knife crime is getting in the media at the moment.

“This extra funding secured by the commissioner is a fantastic opportunity to provide diversion and support for young people who are experiencing challenges in their life which may lead to their involvement in this type of criminality.”

The Town Central Police Neighbourhood Meeting is this evening at Ardington Hotel in Steyne Gardens.

• Tim Drew is the secretary and press officer for the Worthing Neighbourhood Watch Association. For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.

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