Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. London Gang Exit
1.1. Under the ‘Keeping children and young people safe’ strand of the Police and Crime Plan 2017-21 there is a commitment ‘to invest, along with London Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) and NHS England, in specialist services focusing on advocacy, mentoring and specialist health, housing and employment support’.
1.2. The Knife Crime Strategy commits to ‘continuing and developing the work of the London Gang Exit Service to focus work on people involved in gangs who use weapons, including work to develop offenders’ skills to improve their employability and increase their access to job opportunities’.
1.3. MOPAC and the CRC funded London Gang Exit (LGE) programme comes to the end of its current funding period in September 2017. This decision paper makes a recommendation to continue to fund London Gang Exit for a further two years from October 2017 to September 2019.
1.4. Commencing in February 2016, LGE is a £1.5M multi-agency intervention which aims to reduce the harm caused by gangs; reduce involvement in gang offending; and to assist exit from a gang related lifestyle. Safer London leads a consortium of organisations to deliver LGE with key delivery partners Redthread and Only Connect. The Pan London service was co-designed alongside partners to complement and enhance existing local services, filling gaps in provision to achieve better parity of offer whatever borough you live in.
1.5. The consortium provides specialist support around one-to-one mentoring and challenge, health and wellbeing, employment and training, housing, family and relationship support to help both those who are gang nominals and those who are exploited by them. The programme works with young people on statutory orders or on a voluntary basis. Referrals can come from any agency: police, council, health, housing, offender managers, secure estate, voluntary and community sector organisations, as well as referrals from family members and self-referrals from young people. The programme has been delivering for 17 months, has received 641 enquiries about young people and accepted 263 referrals . At the last quarterly performance point 160 young people were receiving or have received interventions. There were 85 open and active cases and 27 ‘pending’ cases where referrals have been accepted and engagement was being sought. 40 intensive cases had been receiving interventions for more than six months.
1.6. MOPAC’s Evidence and Insight team are conducting an interim evaluation which will be available in August 2017. Initial analysis of 28 completed cases to the end of March 2017 show tentatively promising results. Using Safer London’s ‘distance travelled’ assessment tool:
• 75% of programme participants engaged in gang exit activity and reduced or ceased involvement in gangs and
• 82% reduction in reports of harm / feeling vulnerable.
Offending analysis on the same cohort, comparing all police recorded offending and victimisation eight months before referral to LGE with the eight months following, indicates that:
• average offending (both total and violent) and victimisation (both total and violent) decreased in the eight month period after referral.
• Of 15 individuals with recorded offending in the period of analysis 11 committed a lower number of offences after being referred to LGE.
• Of 11 individuals with recorded victimisation, 9 experienced a decrease.
1.7. Ahead of contract end/extension we have been reviewing the progress of LGE and consulting with boroughs to understand their operational experience of the programme. We are recommending the decision is taken to extend delivery for LGE for a further two years and, in light of the priorities of the 2017-21 Police and Crime plan and Knife Crime Strategy, will require the service to develop in the following ways:
• Ensure the service supports the outcomes being sought through the Knife Crime Strategy by focusing on offering specialist interventions for young people involved in, at risk of becoming involved, or who have been a victim of a violent or weapon-enabled crime.
• Strengthen the focus on increasing referrals from the secure estate into LGE; including creating closer working arrangements between LGE and Project Chrysalis’ work in Isis and Feltham Youth Offending Institutes. Building relationships with young people who have been referred whilst in prison and focusing on employment and training opportunities, working to achieve stable housing and family support to give this high need cohort the best chance of staying away from the gang and breaking the reoffending cycle.
• Increase the number of young women the service works by identifying new referral pathways to include female secure establishments, Trident officers particularly in relation to county lines operations, VCS providers and self-referral routes. Build on work being carried out by Empower colleagues within Safer London to map provision for young women across London and utilising this data, more effectively target areas where the need is more prevalent.
• Review the current consortia arrangement to ensure there is the right combination of specialisms to meet the needs being identified; particularly to improve the service response to the mental health needs of those accessing the service.
• Rebrand and relaunch the service - responding to feedback from young people and workers that the term ‘gang’ is a barrier to engagement - so it is more attractive to those it serves and the offer is better understood.
• Create better links between Trident and LGE so that LGE can provide quick time wrap around support to those involved in, or exploited by, county lines activity identified through police operations.
• Increase the frequency and amount of information shared with local authorities, police and offender managers (statutory responsible bodies) at a borough level so that the risk management plan around a young person is more effective and there is increased confidence in LGE.
1.8 There is the potential for enhancement of the service offer if partnership or match funding is achieved.
2. Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation locality peer reviews for London boroughs
2.1. Under the ‘Keeping children and young people safe’ strand of the Police and Crime Plan 2017-21 there is a commitment to ‘work with local authorities and partners to build on good practice to tackle gangs at a local level through investing in Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation (EGVE) peer reviews for London boroughs, and supporting them to model their response on existing good practice, such as multi agency Integrated Gangs Units, where partners are co-located and jointly invest in and deliver services’.
2.2. Throughout 2016-17 MOPAC funded the Institute of Community Safety to carry out nine EGVE locality peer reviews to help local authorities and partners to build on good practice to tackle gangs at a local level and supporting them to model their response on existing good practice. MOPAC invested £40,000 to deliver these nine reviews. The grant agreement ended in March 2017 and delivery is scheduled for completion by August 2017.
2.3. This decision paper recommends continuing to fund the EGVE locality reviews for a further year until end of August 2018 at a cost of £40,000.
2.4. The previous grant was awarded to the Institute of Community Safety (ICS) to carry out this work. The individuals with the experience and expertise in conducting locality reviews have recently moved to the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) so we will be contracting with ATCM for the 2017-18 grant agreement.
2.5. The locality review is a one-day process for local areas as part of the national strategy to tackle gangs and serious youth violence. It works as a broad-brush set of interviews and focus groups with front-line practitioners to gather information, building a qualitative picture of the key issues and drivers around county lines, gangs, youth violence, vulnerability and exploitation. It is a rapid evidential assessment process that:
• Enables assessment of issues around gang activity, serious youth violence and victimisation through drawing upon the experiences of practitioners, communities, victims and offenders.
• Tests the prevalence of issues identified through cross-referencing opinions from interviewees/groups and relevant quantitative data.
• Identifies barriers to effectively understanding and tackling local priorities in relation to threat, risk and harm.
The locality review is not a review of any single organisation’s role, rather a process that seeks to identify what local practitioners know about vulnerability at an operational level, understand how the partner agencies are working together operationally to deliver the area’s gang/group and youth violence priorities and examine what blockages are perceived to effective delivery at a frontline level.
2.6. The locality reviews developed from the Home Office Ending Gang and Youth Violence (EGYV) programme that was created following the August 2011 disorder. The aim of the EGYV programme was to reduce violence, and to achieve this through supporting a change in the way that public services respond to gang and youth violence, notably through the use of expert advice through a frontline team and the 80-strong peer network of trained volunteers. Following the Home Office decision to disband the front line team at the end of the 2015/16 financial year the London Crime Reduction Board Gangs Panel members expressed their concern that the expertise and experience within the frontline team would be lost to London boroughs and partners.
2.7. MOPAC worked in partnership with the Home Office to develop a regional response for London. A DMPC decision was agreed in March 2016 to fund nine EGVE locality peer reviews over a 12 month period. Alongside this, the Home Office commissioned and part funded 15 national locality reviews (50% of costs).
2.8. Frontline local area reviews have now been undertaken by the ICS in seven London boroughs to identify and share best practice to tackle gangs at a local level. A further two reviews will take place before the end of the delivery period in August 2017. The learning is being shared regionally through the MOPAC hosted Gang Co-ordinators meetings. Feedback from boroughs has been broadly positive with some areas for improvement identified which will be taken into account as the service develops.
2.9. For 2017-18 the offer to local partnerships will develop in the following ways:
• Building on the success of the more specialist locality reviews which brought together a number of geographic areas around an issue (e.g. a particular county line) to create joint action plan or focused on a particular area such as engaging communities experiencing the most harm from serious youth violence. Locality reviews can incorporate more specialist elements such vulnerability, child sexual exploitation (CSE), vulnerable females, vulnerable locations, knife crime and social media.
• Offering support and co-ordination to inter-locality work or more in depth on-site support for areas that need it, such as EGVE training on aspects such as CSE and County lines or strategic support and guidance.
• Ensuring the information from the locality peer reviews is raised at the right level to influence policy and processes. Consider reporting trends and good practice identified through the reviews, particularly in relation to how gangs and serious youth violence are affecting young people, to the Children’s and Young People subgroup for discussion and action.
3. Financial Comments
3.1. The £1,000,000 (over two years) for LGE and the £40,000 (over one year) for the EGVE locality review support can be met from MOPAC’s reserves.
3.2. Both of these will be a continuation of an existing funding arrangement, and bound by the re-issued Grant agreement.
4. Legal Comments
4.1 MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3(6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 MOPAC has wide incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7(2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.
4.2 Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.
4.3 Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC. The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by the DMPC. The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Operating Officer is in accordance with the general power of delegation.
5. Equality Comments
5.1. We know that gangs and serious youth violence have a disproportionate impact on certain sections of London’s diverse communities. Research shows that the vast majority of gang nominals are male but those exploited by gangs are both male and female. BME young males are disproportionately affected both as victims and perpetrators of gang violence. Analysis into Harm, Risk and Vulnerability undertaken by MOPAC’s Evidence and Insight team produced in September 2016 found that:
• 99% of individuals on the Trident Gangs Matrix are male;
• The majority of those on the Trident Gangs Matrix are young adults – 79% of individuals are under 25 years of age;
• 88% of individuals on the Trident Gangs Matrix are identified as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME).
5.2. As part of the essential criteria during the bidding stage to set up the pan London gang programme all bidders needed to demonstrate a commitment to equal opportunities and understanding of equality issues. All providers and services must be compliant with the public sector equality duty set out in section 149(1) of the Equality Act 2010. This requires MOPAC (and its providers and services) to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations by reference to people with protected characteristics. Equal opportunities policies needed to be provided before the bid could progress to the evaluation panel. If policies were not available the bid was not be considered further.
5.3. The Police and Crime Plan 2017-21 Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) takes into account feedback from the public and stakeholders and makes an assessment of its impact on a number of objectives including Crime, Safety and Security, Equality and Inclusion and Social Integration.
5.4. The Impact Assessment shows that young people are disproportionately impacted by crime as both victims and offender and that serious youth violence has increased steadily for the past three years, with 6,600 young victims in the 12 months to September 2016. The number of knife crimes with injury committed against Londoners under the age of 25 is, at 1,782 offences in the year to September, the highest level since 2012. The evidence is clear that when young people are victimised, they are subsequently at much higher risk of both offending themselves and re-victimisation.
5.5. Analysis also shows that repeat offenders tend to be young adults with 18-24 year olds recording the highest adult reoffending rates at 32.2% per offenders. They are also the largest cohort of offenders at over 26,000 individuals.
5.6. In terms of social integration evidence indicates that some areas of London are more vulnerable than others to crime, victimisation and offending. The evidence also indicates differential experiences of policing, victim satisfaction and confidence amongst different sections of London’s community – BAME, women, young people, boys/men, and people with physical and mental health disabilities.
5.7. LGE has been designed to respond to these particular needs; with staff that are trained and experienced in providing trauma-informed support to young people with complex needs. Diversity monitoring is an integral part of the quarterly contract management for LGE and forms part of the evaluation of the programme conducted by MOPAC’s Evidence and Insight team.
6. Background/supporting papers
6.1. Decision paper London Gang Exit service https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/governance-and-decision-making/mopac-decisions--39
6.2. Decision paper London Gang Exit additional NHS and Department of Work and Pensions funding https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/governance-and-decision-making/mopac-decisions--11
6.3. Decision paper Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation MOPAC support https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/mayors-office-policing-and-crime-mopac/governance-and-decision-making/mopac-decisions-361