Young Londoners Fund of £45m to tackle youth crime

Young person Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The initiative will support education, sport and cultural activities for disadvantaged young people

A £45m fund has been set up to help young people in London at risk of being caught up in crime.

The Young Londoners Fund will support education, sport and cultural activities for disadvantaged people.

It will be paid for through council tax and business rates.

The three-year initiative was welcomed by campaigners who have been "urging" London's mayor to take action against a £36m cut to youth services across London councils, since 2011.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the scheme will help bridge the gap after the government "decimated" youth services in the city.

"For many young people, particularly those from deprived and disadvantaged communities, activities and services for young people offer support and help keep them on the straight and narrow," he added.

'Devastating cuts'

The fund will be made up of £10m a year for local groups, charities and schools to bid for funds, and £5m a year to be invested in expanding existing projects.

Green Party London Assembly Member Sian Berry hopes the fund will "start to repair some of the damage" from government cuts.

A report she worked on in 2017 found councils in London have faced £36m in cuts to youth services since 2011, with 48% of youth worker jobs lost in that time.

She said: "I have been urging the mayor for over a year to recognise that these cuts have been having a devastating effect on young Londoners' futures and their ability to flourish."

The fund is separate from the £7m investment the mayor has made in projects to tackle knife and gang crime in 2017-18.

It is also in addition to the £15m he allocated for the Met Police's anti-knife crime initiatives in 2018-19.

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