Norbury project wins grant from £1.1m knife crime funding

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced £1.15million-worth of grants to projects around the capital, including four which operate in Croydon, and which are working to reduce knife crime and its impact on families and communities.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan with police Borough Commander Jeff Boothe (left) on a recent visit to Croydon

A total of 34 schemes have received funding in this latest round.

The funding is part of the Mayor’s Knife Crime Strategy published last June, which included a £250,000 Knife Crime Community Seed Fund. The Mayor has provided an additional £1.15million for these projects through his new Young Londoners Fund, taking the total to £1.4m, after consultation with young people revealed that they want to be engaged with by people from their communities who they know and trust, and who have experienced some of the same issues and challenges around knife crime.

“As Mayor, I have made it a priority not only to be tough on knife crime in London, but tough on the causes of knife crime, too,” the Mayor said. “The tragic deaths in recent days and months have highlighted once again how urgently this must be tackled.”

Khan has committed additional money to policing in London, £110million for 2018-2019, in an effort to reduce the impact of the Government’s massive cuts to policing budgets. This includes £15million specifically to help tackle knife crime.

The Tory-led government has also cut £22million from London’s youth services since 2011, which has resulted in the closure of 30 youth centres that had served at least 12,700 young Londoners.

Khan said, “The Government is letting our young people down and failing in its basic duty to keep people safe. At City Hall, we’re doing all we can to compensate for the failure of ministers and we are stepping up to provide unprecedented additional funds to the Met police, as well as driving forward a full and comprehensive Knife Crime Strategy and my £45million Young Londoners Fund, which will help many young people to thrive, prosper and make the right choices to avoid being sucked into a life of crime.

“I refuse to accept that nothing can be done to stem the appalling rise of violent crime we are seeing across the country. The community and grass-roots projects receiving funding today, alongside the projects that were funded earlier in the spring, will help root out violence within our communities and give more young Londoners the skills, support and aspirations they need to turn away from crime and fulfil their potential.”

The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) will work with the successful bidders to provide mentoring and support, and to assist in building relationships with Safer Neighbourhood Boards. The Knife Crime Community Seed Fund is being managed by London Community Foundation.

Jennifer McDermott: founder of the Cassandra Learning Centre, a funding recipient

The Croydon schemes to receive backing include the Cassandra Learning Centre, based in Norbury. The charity was founded 10 years ago by Jennifer McDermott following the death of her daughter, Cassandra, as a consequence of domestic abuse. CLC has been granted £28,417 to deliver one-to-one counselling and group sessions to 100 perpetrators of knife crime from Croydon, Lambeth and Southwark.

Rising Stars Support has been granted £14,622 to deliver 48 mixed martial arts sessions to 120 young people in Croydon.

StreetDoctors, which operates in Croydon and Hackney, has been allocated £44,100 to deliver a partnership project to educate up to 300 young people with knowledge of dangers and risks of knife crime, first aid training and lifesaving skills in Croydon and Hackney.

And The Crib is a pan-London organisation receiving £35,000 to provide people who have been bereaved or affected by knife crime with specialist support, including befriending and advocacy across London. Janette Collins, the founder of The Crib, said: “We are now able to spread good practice in the fight against knife crime. It is a fantastic leap forward for our families and organisation.”

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