We will adopt a public health approach to tackling violence to deliver evidence-based interventions and engagement work with young people, adults, families and communities.
Integral to our vision is our commitment to addressing the disproportionate impact of violence on certain groups – Black young men, women, and vulnerable adults. Through realising this we aspire to:
- Save lives and significantly reduce serious injury
- Improve community resilience and cohesion
- Empower local people to take ownership over their neighbourhoods and communities
- Improve trust and confidence in public services and the police, particularly among Black and Ethnic Minority people
Engaging, building trust with, and collaborating with all communities in Islington is at the heart of our four-step approach:
- Prevention of serious violence before it occurs by providing violence-diverting information and opportunities alongside targeted interventions towards individuals most at-risk of committing violence.
- Minimise the impact of serious violence on the community by scaling-up the response to swiftly de-escalate and contain violence.
- Support those vulnerable to, at-risk of or affected by serious violence by providing them with adequate support and interventions.
- Empower communities to strengthen their own resilience and knowledge, make positive behavioural choices, and to work with others to prevent and reduce serious violence.
We have developed 6 key priorities to focus our strategy:
- Places and Spaces – regardless of your personal identity, the time of day, or how busy it is, everyone should feel and be safe in our streets.
- Women's Safety – women in Islington should live life free of fear both at home and in our public spaces.
- Youth Safety – our children and young people should be kept away from youth crime and violence and given the best possible start in life.
- Adults – preventing vulnerable adults from being exploited into violence and supporting adult offenders to move away from crime, whilst holding them to account for their actions.
- Organised Crime – protecting the community by preventing vulnerable individuals’ involvement with organised gangs, disrupting criminal behaviour, and providing support and gang exit strategies for those who want to leave.
- Drugs – reducing the harm that drugs cause to individuals and communities by supporting those with drug-use issues to recover and break free from violence.
Some of the actions stemming from the Strategy include, but are not limited to;
- Hiring a Young Women’s Worker, who will help the council to improve services for young women and girls suffering gang-related harm or exploitation. This person will work with young women on a one-to-one basis and will also visit schools and community settings to raise awareness and identify those who are at risk.
- Expanding a network of parent champions, who play a key role in giving families a voice in violence reduction by participating in police training and delivering harm prevention sessions in schools.
- Creating more Safe Havens – safe spaces for anyone who is in danger, feels threatened or in need of help – adding to the network of 120 places from shops and restaurants to libraries, leisure centres and faith venues.
- Safe weapon disposal – Islington’s eight knife bins have so far taken more than 2,000 weapons off the streets, with more than 1,000 since last year.
Islington Council’s Executive Member for Community Safety, Cllr John Woolf, said: “The safety of our community is an absolute priority as we strive to create a more equal Islington. Feeling and being safe – at home, in the street, at work, or out and about in our borough – is essential to our quality of life. Violence, on the other hand, as we have very sadly seen in recent months, has devastating consequences, causing trauma, and altering behaviour that seriously damages people’s lives.
“We will never, ever be complacent and this strategy, developed through the biggest community safety consultation of any London borough last year, sets out how we will work closely with residents and local groups to tackle violence at its root.