Lambeth: Commitment to making young people safe

10 December 2020

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Lambeth Council is launching its ambitious Lambeth Made Safer For Young People strategy, which aims to make the borough one of the safest places in London for children, teenagers and young adults by 2030.

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Lambeth: Commitment to making young people safe

The strategy was approved by cabinet on November 30 and there will be an online launch event on Wednesday 16 December at 5pm which will discuss the work that has already taken place in partnership with the community, and to hear from councillors who have been involved in the project.

Cllr Jacqui Dyer, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills and Community Safety, said: “We are ambitious – we aim to make Lambeth one of the safest places in London for children, teenagers and young adults, and we recognise that this will not happen in a short period of time.

“That is why in Lambeth we have taken a long-term, public health approach to violence reduction – intervening as early as possible so that the aspirations of a young person do not become limited due to the obstacles that they encounter in life.

“The council’s approach to community safety can only happen with our partners- schools, police, NHS, justice, local employers and, crucially, our residents and community groups who make up our fantastic borough.

“We are at a tipping point moment. Together we can grasp it. With our united commitment to the delivery of this strategy we will be able to realise our shared vision of thriving for the many 1,000’s of children and young people in this borough.”

The strategy builds on the council’s public health approach to violence affecting young people in the borough. Over the next decade the strategy will guide partnership efforts in Lambeth to reduce the number of victims and perpetrators – often the same people – of serious violence affecting young people every year.

It aims to reduce the number of young people involved in the criminal justice system on an annual basis. The strategy will also address the causes of violence against the person, which as the events of this year have thrown into stark relief, are deeply rooted in structural racism.

It will identify, acknowledge and address where institutional barriers have created, and perpetuated, circumstances within which children and young people cannot flourish.

Cllr Dyer said: “As a council Lambeth we are committed to taking an anti-racist approach for our Lambeth Made Safer work and we will be held to account via our communities, and through evaluation, so that we can ensure we jointly deliver this agenda.”

The public health approach at the heart of the strategy has been successfully used to combat violence in Scotland and the United States. The approach highlights how violence against young people is a result of a wide range of contributory factors, which can include societal, educational and environmental influences. It acknowledges that a long-term plan is needed to bring about lasting change.

Lib Peck, Director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: “Tackling violence in our communities starts by acknowledging that the root causes of violence are deeply complex and require solutions that extend far beyond enforcement. They must involve our schools, our youth services, front-line professionals and sustained national investment and support.

“London’s Violence Reduction Unit is firmly focused on delivering long-term solutions that tackle the underlying causes of violent crime and give young people the positive spaces and opportunities they deserve. I’m delighted to see the public health approach front and centre in Lambeth council’s plan to reduce violence affecting young people and I look forward to working with them in the weeks and months ahead.”

Since 2019, Lambeth Council has worked in partnership and in consultation with a wide range of residents, young people, community groups, and partners in developing the strategy, including the Metropolitan Police and bodies such as our Black Thrive Partnership and Juvenis.

That has included a series of community meetings, a survey of more than 550 young people looking at their attitudes towards violence and policing, and engagements with council staff across the organisation, many of whom are local residents.

Click here to join the meeting in Teams on Wednesday 16 December at 5pm.