Frequently asked questions
Why have you picked these five areas for investment in the Neighbourhood Fund? Why didn’t you just choose the areas where the numbers of children involved in violence is highest?
We’ve tried to find out where, across England and Wales, there are higher numbers of children involved in crime and violence. However, there’s no single way to do this. Our report explains what data we’ve used, some of the judgements and trade-offs we’ve made and the final methodology we’ve settled on.
To make our decisions about the Neighbourhood Fund areas we’ll invest in, we wanted to make sure we were reaching places where there’s need, while also maintaining our commitment to investing in a variety of different areas (which will help us see if co-designing solutions with local residents leads to change across a variety of different contexts).
To do this, we identified the local authority areas with where there are higher numbers of children involved in crime. Using available Youth Justice Board data, we analysed a combination of rates and absolute numbers of violent offences committed by children. We then created a shortlist of local authority areas and picked from those that appeared highest (while also including Cardiff, to make sure the first round of our Neighbourhood Fund covers areas where violence is more common in both England and Wales).
Why isn’t London one of the areas you selected?
We know that London is one of the areas of the country that has been most affected by recent increases in violent crime. That’s why the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, the London Violence Reduction Unit and the Metropolitan Police were awarded £13.6m in Home Office Surge funding to tackle violent crime. Our analysis also placed three London Boroughs (Brent, Croydon and Enfield) in the ten local authority areas where violence is more common.
In the end, we decided not to prioritise London in our first round of funding, because there are lots of areas outside of the capital that are also in need of extra support. This doesn’t mean we won’t work in London in the future. Through future rounds of the Neighbourhood Fund, we’ll work with partners to identify hyper-local areas in London, understand the initiatives that already being delivered and invest in place-based, community programmes.
Why are the areas you’ve selected different to Violence Reduction Unit areas?
The method we’ve used to identify the first five place we’ll invest in through the first round of the Neighbourhood Fund is different to the method that the Home Office used to identify Violence Reduction Unit areas.
That’s because the Home Office used total numbers of knife-related hospital admissions for all ages at police force level when they selected areas for Violent Reduction Units. Because we’re focused on children and young people (under 18), we couldn’t use the same data. That’s because there are small numbers of children admitted to hospital in many areas and figures are often suppressed to make sure patients’ confidentiality is protected. This means there’s a lot of missing data.
However, lots of our results did match the Home Office’s analysis. There’s only one area (Norfolk) that we’ve selected that doesn’t have a Violence Reduction Unit. Norwich (which is in Norfolk) is supported through another violence reduction related initiative, project ADDER, as it was a place identified by the Home Office as the most “popular” town for County Lines and drug exploitation.
What is the Neighbourhood Fund?
We know that a lot of violent crime happens in very specific local areas. To make a difference, many believe that it is essential to work with the people and organisations who live and work there as they know their communities best.
The Neighbourhood Fund will test different models and approaches to community engagement to better understand how, where and why it supports improved outcomes for children at risk of becoming involved in violence. Through the Fund, we’ll better understand the problems these communities are facing, then to codesign, test and evaluate solutions that respond to their local needs and context. We’ll evaluate the impact of engaging local communities in this way.
My organisation doesn’t work in one of the areas you’ve selected. Can I apply for the next round of the Neighbourhood Fund?
This won’t be the only round we run from the Neighbourhood Fund. We’ll run two more of these grant rounds, funding 15 hyper-local programmes in total. We’ll review our approach in 2022 to inform the second round of the Neighbourhood Fund and we’re open to different options for selecting hyper-local delivery areas.
So while you might not be eligible to take part now, there will be opportunities in the future.