COVENTRY is set to be granted nearly £500,000 from the government to tackle the ‘devastating effects’ of knife crime and gang culture.
Community-backed projects in 21 areas across England will each receive a share of £9.5million to help at-risk families and children.
Coventry City Council will receive £477,000 to enable key workers, community groups, teachers and other professionals working with children and young people at risk to intervene early and stop young people from becoming drawn into gang crime, serious violence and the youth justice system.
There has been a 20 per cent increase in violent crime across Coventry in the last year.
The city has been shocked a string of knife crime incidents, the latest of which saw a teenager stabbed and robbed in Remembrance Road in Willenhall on Saturday (February 23).
The council says it has a three-pronged approach to its use of the funding: the money will be used to train frontline workers, educate young people in schools, and work with families who are most at risk.
The funding will also back more in-depth work with parents, carers and professionals to help them fully understand the risk factors and the dangers of their children being exposed to gang culture.
Some projects are heavily school focused. Others will work with smaller groups of young people already at high risk.
Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: “Carrying a knife should never be a rite of passage.
“For too long, it has been normalised behaviour for too many teenagers in our communities.
“Every violent incident, every injury, every young life lost is a tragedy that has devastating consequences for all involved.
“The early intervention strategies set out by the projects we are funding offer real alternatives to children and young people who may otherwise become involved in gang crime.”
A further £300,000 will also be available for local authorities across England to train frontline staff on how to tackle childhood trauma.