Hundreds of young people have been targeted by on-the-ground patrols as result of the Newcastle Task Force set up to prevent spikes in summer violence.
The task force, funded through Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness’ Violence Reduction Unit and Newcastle City Council, is making a significant impact in hotspot and high footfall areas of Newcastle this summer.
The task force provides a visible presence with staff out meeting hundreds of young people in the city centre, parks and other green spaces, acting as a deterrent to incidents.
Earlier this month, the Commissioner’s Violence Reduction Unit launched Knives Impact Everyone, an awareness campaign aimed at educating young people on the impact their actions can have if they were to carry or use a knife.
As part of this, the task force in Newcastle is working to engage young people in order to reduce the number of those found to be in possession of a knife or weapon, as well as reducing the amount of young people becoming involved in anti-social and violent offences.
Operating when the city is at its busiest for football matches, music concerts, popular nights out and iconic events such as the Hopping’s funfair, the task force has brought in a number of initiatives including:
- Taking a targeted approach in order to utilise resources appropriately to get the best results in reducing violent crime.
- Community Safety Teams deployed in hotspot and high footfall areas on weeknights and weekends to act as a deterrence and increase feelings of safety.
- Utilising CCTV to deploy teams in areas where issues may be arising.
- Youth Outreach Workers and other key partners working throughout the city now take part in fortnightly meeting to ensure a joined up approach to tackling violent crime.
- Staff have taken part in a programme of training including awareness around knife crime, personal safety, signs of intoxication and drug use, in order to help them spot the early signs and provide the best support.
To identify and deter those causing the most disruption, the task force brings together a range of services and organisations, including the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit, Newcastle City Council, Northumbria Police, the Youth Justice Service, Your Homes Newcastle and specialist youth services.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness said: “We need to keep getting ahead of the issue and quickly resolving it and that includes driving down violence over the summer and winter periods when the cities are at their busiest.”
“I am delighted that the task force is making fantastic headway in engaging with our regions young people, helping to identify those causing disruption and deterring them from crime. It is a vital tool in our programme of activity to prevent serious violence, which is why the task force sits alongside the wider work of the Violence Reduction Unit and its partners.”
“We must continue educating young people through our awareness sessions and important campaigns including Knives Impact Everyone, keep providing positive opportunities through dedicated youth work and offering the right support where needed. All of this early intervention is key to ensuring our young people make good decisions for their future.”
“We all want to feel safe when attending popular events and enjoying everything else our cities have to offer – that’s why I want to reinforce my message that we will never tolerate violence.”
For more information, please contact the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit by email email@example.com