Public Health Approach to Reducing Violence
Councillor Reid, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities introduced the report.
Councillor Muldoon said he acknowledged what was being done in Glasgow. He asked how much control officers would have over the exercise when they examine evidence based practice to address Lewisham issues. He added that an Oxleas Philosopher had rightly said every young person should have an older person as a Mentor, as mentoring was very important.
Councillor Campbell commented that the information was useful, but evidence was already there and work should start now, as the impact of not starting now might be huge. Councillor Campbell stated that work for Adults and Children should be separated as the agenda seemed too large, and she asked how the impact would be measured.
The Director of Public Protection and Safety responded that Goldsmith and Bedford Universities would be providing evidence based practice, as they would be looking at different aspects of the work whilst focusing on Lewisham. Councillor Reid said she was aware that most of what Lewisham was doing had already been done, but Lewisham could still improve the work, building on the knowledge base. She said evidence based practice would build on present work and help Lewisham move forward.
The Director of Public Protection and Safety said she agreed with the idea of using older people as Mentors, hence Lewisham was investing in Community Champions which would build relationships in the community. She added that violence was complex, as adults were often both victims and perpetrators, and children witnessed this. The Director of Public Protection and Safety said 1/8 of domestic violence incidences involved knives and adults. She said officers would look at the strategic needs assessment.
Councillor Millbank asked about MOPAC, borough boundaries, community engagement and the timeframe involved. She also asked about the role of the 30 community members. Councillor Sorba said this was an extension of an existing approach. He said he was also interested in the opportunity available for the community to contribute in a co-ordinated and targeted way. He wanted to know if there was existing resources available to do the work. He concluded by mentioning the correlation between excluded school children and knife crime.
Councillor Reid responded that the approach would be changed as new evidence emerges. She said there would be a violence reduction meeting next week, and the work would be concluded within 6-9 months, but it would remain a living document. She said officers have a close working relationship with MOPAC, and they had provided some funding. The Director of Public Protection and Safety said there was some money from existing fund, and officers were doing all they can to get some more money. She added that the Council would need to show it was succeeding to get additional funding.
Councillor Millbank said community members needed to be briefed about their role and objectives as they would be acting as facilitators. The Chair thanked Councillor Reid and officers for the report. He said he looked forward to the update to Mayor and Cabinet.
RESOLVED that the decision of Mayor and Cabinet be noted.