Fund to tackle gang crime in Thurrock

A REPORT on gang crime has shown Thurrock has the second highest rate of violent crime against young people in Essex.

An in depth report, which will be discussed by Thurrock’s hidden and extreme harms prevention committee, shows the borough also has the fourth highest rate of ambulance call outs to young people because of violence.

In 2019 the Home Office announced a Serious Violence Fund to help tackle serious violence in 18 areas worst affected, of which Essex was identified as one of the Violence Reduction Unit areas.

Essex Police were able to set up a Violence and Vulnerability Unit with the funding with the aim of reducing hospital admissions for assaults with a knife or sharp object and especially among those victims aged under 25.

In addition the unit aims to reduce non-domestic homicides in the under- 25s.

The report to the committee shows whilst overall rates of crime have fallen over the last 25 years, rates of recorded crimes of violence in Thurrock have risen sharply since 2013. Rates of reported crimes of violence with injury and weapons offences where the victim was aged 10-24 in Thurrock rose from 2015/16, peaking in 2016/17 but have since dropped back slightly.

Assaults resulting in serious have risen, however.

Between 2015 and 2019 there were 56 incidents of violence with injury among 10-24-year-olds.

The most violent wards in terms of number of reported incidents against young people aged 10-24 in Thurrock over the last two years were Grays Riverside, Stanford-le-Hope West, West Thurrock and South Stifford, Aveley and Uplands, and Tilbury St Chads with nine or more recorded incidents. Where the suspect was recorded as aged 10- 24, 80 per cent lived in Thurrock with 20 per cent recorded as living in an area outside Essex.

The report recommends various agencies working together to prevent gang crime. It said: “Scrutiny by members in relation to this priority will ensure that Thurrock Council is in a strong position to fulfil the new duty which will be placed upon it in relation to serious violence. This duty on public bodies will ensure relevant services work together to share data and knowledge and allow them to target their interventions to prevent serious violence altogether.

“No agency will resolve this issues on its own and we need to work with communities and ensure that they are part of the solution.”

Councillors will discuss the issues on Thursday, October 24.

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