It is hoped treating knife crime as a public health issue will reduce violence in Croydon.

On Monday night, (June 3) the council’s cabinet will be asked to back plans for a public health approach to violence.

This is a technique that was introduced in Glasgow and saw a dramatic reduction in violent crime.

In the 12 months from May 2018-2019 there was a 31.7% reduction in knife crime with injury, and the 21.7% reduction in serious youth violence in Croydon compared to the year before.

It is hoped that this will continue to reduce as agencies step in earlier.

Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities, said: “Levels of knife crime in Croydon are steadily reducing and are now lower than two years ago – but we have much further to go.

“We made a manifesto commitment to taking a public health approach to tackling violence and this is an important step in making this pledge a reality.

“In Croydon this means recognising that we all have a role – both statutory and community sectors working hand in glove – in stopping violence from happening, and stepping in earlier and earlier.

“Croydon’s Vulnerable Adolescents Review reinforced what we already know – that early help and preventative care, along with a greater recognition of children’s emotional health and wellbeing is key to helping to stop this violence.”

The council will work with London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) which works with communities to reduce violence.

VRU director, Lib Peck, said: “The causes of violent crime are extremely complex and involve deep-seated problems like poverty, inequality, social alienation and a lack of opportunities for young people.”

How will the approach work?

It will work with partners in the attempt to stop violence before it happens by focusing on the causes.

The public health approach means that everyone has a role to play in preventing and reducing violence. Making it a societal issue rather than one agency being responsible.

The plans would see development of trauma-based training for council staff, the community and voluntary sectors.

The aim of this is so people can identify adverse childhood and adult experiences and ensure those who experience them are supported.

Children and young people who experience trauma are more likely to perform poorly in school and be involved with crime.

To tackle this community-based prevention services will be set up providing support education and training for those at risk of offending.

Cabinet will meet at Croydon Town Hall from 6.30pm on Monday (June 10).