Schools learn how Mayor of London aims to stop East End street gangs exploiting pupils
PUBLISHED: 13:19 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:29 06 November 2019
© Rehan Jamil
A massive £45 million is being ploughed into diverting youngsters away from street gang exploitation, a Tower Hamlets school governors' conference has been told.
London Assembly member Unmesh Desai revealed the drastic measures in education being taken by City Hall to tackle youth violence on the streets.
"Our education system plays a major role in efforts to tackle youth violence," he told Saturday's conference held at Bow School.
"Having enough police on the streets is crucial, but preventative and early intervention measures are just as important."
Measures were being brought in by the Mayor of London to clamp down on violent crime among the young such as the £45m Young Londoners Fund aimed at diverting the most vulnerable away from street gangs.
"I will hold the Mayor to account," he pledged to the school governors. "It means continuing to monitor the impact of City Hall policies on levels of east London street crime.
"This is against government cuts to the budgets of the Met Police, schools and local youth services."
Mr Desai, who represents east London at City Hall, revealed London-wide measures to address causes of youth crime were focussing on "early intervention" strategies.
These include "the need for a strong relationship" between police and schools and increasing numbers of dedicated school officers by the end of the year.
City Hall's own Violence Reduction unit has a public health approach aimed at treating violence as "a disease", the conference heard.
It has led to £1.4m being put into community groups working with the most at-risk youngsters. Another £4.7m was pledged this week to help reduce school expulsions and to divert the most vulnerable pupils away from gang exploitation. This is being done by improving after-school facilities and helping pupils going from primary to secondary education.
The school governors' conference, which was also addressed by Ofsted's London regional director Mike Sheridan and the Institute of School Business Leaders chief executive Stephen Morales, revealed the measures and funding City Hall was putting in to clamp down on youth crime with "early intervention" schemes to divert pupils away from gang influences in the face huge police budget cuts.