Poverty, deprivation and crime go hand in hand.
We all know criminals thrive when people are denied opportunity and we know that when households trapped in poverty are the victim of a crime, the recovery is harder.
That's why I'm proud that my Violence Reduction Unit is taking a radical new approach to combat violent crime in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear.
The Unit will work with young people and troubled families to make it clear there is an alternative to violence and crime.
No-one should be become the victim of violent crime. That’s why it’s so important for the Violence Reduction Unit to intervene and deter individuals from crime at the earliest opportunity. We cannot just arrest our way out the problem – instead we must continue to educate young people, upskill our professionals and provide that vital support for those individuals and families in most need.
By increasing the number of people who know what to look out for, we can support more people before they are exploited or get involved in crime.
As well as building on the positive work to date, the plan for the next year of action will include:
Engage young people to divert them from offending and reduce their risk of being involved in crime.
Focus on the continued importance of community-based interventions, involving individuals with lived experience in specialist help centres.
Work direct with the whole family to tackle issues of violence, through community-based interventions.
Target interventions in areas of most need.