Risk and reward – the role of information sharing in tackling gang and youth violence

Imogen FullerImogen Fuller, Engagement Manager
Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing

Ending Gang and Youth Violence (EGYV) has been high on the agenda in the UK since the series of riots in August 2011 which highlighted issues of youth unrest, violence, and gang membership.

A report was drawn up by the Home Office in response to these issues and set out the first truly cross-government approach to tackling gang and youth violence. It focussed on five areas: prevention, pathways out, punishment, partnership working and providing support.

To provide support to local areas, an Ending Gang and Youth Violence Team was established. Working with a virtual network of over 100 expert advisers the team provides practical advice and support to local areas with a gang or serious youth violence problem.

In 2012/13 £10 million in Home Office funding was allocated to help 29 local places improve the way mainstream services identify, assess and work with the young people most at risk of serious violence. The Ending Gang and Youth Violence (EGYV) programme has since expanded to support 43 partnerships across the country.

Since the outset of this programme, information sharing has been seen as key to enabling multi-agency EGYV partnerships to work effectively – both to tackle youth violence and to commission activities that diverted and prevented young people from getting engaged in gang culture in the first place.

This was in recognition that gang and youth violence couldn’t be tackled by the Police alone. During a young person’s life, a wide range of mainstream agencies need to be involved in preventing future violence – from health visitors, to GPs, to teachers, to A&E departments, local youth workers and Jobcentre Plus staff.

Managing and making this multi-agency involvement effective requires clear arrangements for sharing information about risk between agencies; agreed referral arrangements to make sure young people get the targeted support they need and case management arrangements which bring agencies together to share accountability for outcomes and track progress.

The Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing is working with the Home Office EGYV Team to support local places with their information sharing needs and aspirations.  One element of this work is the EGYV and Information Sharing workshop we are holding in London on Monday (26 January).

Bringing together participants from Margate, Manchester, Nottingham and across London, the workshop will provide a space for participants to share their own experiences, swap good practice and explore common themes.

The event will also feature representatives from a range of national stakeholders, including the Home Office, the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Premier League Charitable Fund.

Topics we’ll be exploring are likely to range from effective information sharing with the new Community Rehabilitation Companies and local A&Es, to developing confidence in sharing of information between statutory and non-statutory agencies (VCS) and using proactive information sharing as part of a client led problem solving approach.

Find out what happened on the day and keep in touch with our EGYV work by following our twitter account @InfoShareCoE and reading these post event blogs:

You can also read our report, Information sharing: benefits and challenges in tackling gang and youth violence  and use the materials we developed for this workshop which can be found in our policy area at this link.