Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner re-iterates commitment to supporting youth intervention programmes
The Commissioner now has responsibility to allocate funding for local groups which was previously available through the Home Office Crime and Drug Strategy Directorate. By allocating funding to Positive Futures Newport he is building on the clear commitment on the importance of youth intervention in his manifesto.
Positive Futures Newport began in May 2002 and works with hard to reach young people aged 10-19 years old from across the City. It's a sports and activity based social inclusion programme, managed locally through Newport City Council's Sport and Physical Activity Development team, that works with partner agencies to give young people a positive focus in life. It provides outreach programmes, volunteer opportunities, opportunities to gain qualifications, mentoring and intervention.
Since he was elected, the Commissioner has met with various youth boards including the Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board In Wales as well as local YOT managers. He has also pledged to support the YOTS funding for 2013/14 to the same level as 2012/13.
The Commissioner commented:
"I have a clear belief that more widespread use of restorative justice and co-ordinated support for hard to engage youngsters is a key element in preventing offending and re-offending. I make it clear as part of my Police and Crime plan that I will be looking at what works in terms of youth intervention and opportunities to support the work of the YOTS and other providers.
"Positive Futures Newport is an excellent example of what engaging youngsters early can achieve: just last year over 1089 youngsters were engaged, over 90 youngsters gained qualifications; others gained employment and others took part in mentoring and volunteer opportunities. It's a fantastic example of what local people can do with local partners,"
Councillor Debbie Wilcox, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "I would like to thank Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, for this generous contribution to such an important scheme.
"Positive Futures has made a huge difference to the lives of many at-risk young people in our deprived communities and this fantastic support will enable the project to continue and even grow in the future.
"Since it was established in Newport, Positive Futures has worked with hundreds of young people, helping them to learn new skills, gain qualifications and find employment. This has helped to turn lives around, benefiting both their communities and the city as a whole."