Tackling crime and violence

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Summary Click to get info

Crime is the number one concern for our residents, which is why Waltham Forest Council has increased funding by an additional £800,000 over the next four years to put extra resources into our gang prevention programme, on top of the existing £2.2 million already allocated.

The rise in youth violence in Waltham Forest, also seen across London and other parts of the UK, led to Waltham Forest Council calling for all partners and agencies to redouble their efforts and pledge to do more.

This work has led to the Violence Reduction Partnership, which brings together the Metropolitan Police, health and education services, and the community and voluntary sector, to provide a joined-up approach to tackle criminal behaviour.

Our Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) brings together all partners to work collaboratively through a public health approach that tackles violence and the causes of violence, in order to achieve our ambition: to reduce violence in Waltham Forest so that our residents feel safer.

The VRP's public health approach tackles violence and the causes of violence across four 'domains'. Each 'domain' has a working group made up of key partners - including the Police, health and education services and community groups - with pledges and actions already being implemented.

  • Curtail violent acts at source, pursuing perpetrators and enforcing action
  • Treat those who have been exposed to violence to control the spread
  • Support those susceptible to violence due to their exposure to risk factors
  • Strengthen community resilience through a universal approach

Find out about progress and how you can get involved here.

Tackling Gangs Click to get info

Waltham Forest’s approach has been informed by ‘From Postcodes to Profits’ report, produced and published in 2018 by London South Bank University and commissioned by Waltham Forest Council. The aim of the study was to better understand gangs in Waltham Forest in order to develop an evidence-based approach to tackle the harm they cause. The report found that gangs are more money-orientated and ruthless in the drugs trade and less linked to postcodes than they were a decade ago. 

To tackle the money orientated drugs trade operated by gangs Waltham Forest Council funded its first ever financial investigation function to seize criminal assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act. In April 2019, the Gang Prevention Programme commissioned four new services to support young people involved in and affected by gang violence:

  • Abianda works with young women affected by gangs and county line activity;
  • Spark2Life will be recruiting and training local residents as community mentors, to support young people vulnerable to gang activity. The organisation will also deploy youth workers to hot spots to work with young people involved in youth violence.
  • Change Grow Live will support members wishing to leave gangs, supporting them in the community and as they exit prison.
  • We Can Work Out will recruit and train residents to act as ‘Ask Me’ ambassadors, to address concerns around gang activity at a community level.

All local authorities now have a duty to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This duty forms a key part of the government’s Prevent programme. These pages give information on how we fulfil this duty in Waltham Forest, setting out the details of each strand of our programme.

Waltham Forest, like all local authorities has a legal duty to:

  • work to reduce the threat of terrorism to the UK by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism
  • Facilitate and chair the Channel panel. This is a monthly safeguarding panel with representatives from different organisations, which assess and provide support to vulnerable people who may be at risk of being drawn into terrorism.

The following sections provide more information about what this involves:

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is abuse that is targeted at women or girls because of their gender and it affects women and girls disproportionately but men can be abused too. 
It is important that VAWG is not seen as a series of incidents or assaults which a woman or girl experiences, but as a pattern of violent or controlling behaviour that seeks to achieve power and control over them. VAWG has a very big impact on the physical safety, health and emotional well-being of individuals, and impacts on families, children and the community as a whole.

Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their economic status, gender, religion, ethnicity or age.

VAWG includes the following strands:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual violence
  • Harmful Practice
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Forced marriage
  • So-called 'Honour' Based Violence
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Stalking and harassment
  • Prostitution
  • Trafficking

Find more information on VAWG or to report concerns, please email: vawg@walthamforest.gov.uk

Hate crime Click to get info

What is a hate crime? 

A hate crime is any criminal offence that’s motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s:

  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • disability
  • transgender identity

Read more about hate crime

Report a hate crime online

Anti-social behaviour Click to get info

Anti-social behaviour is a conduct that:

  • has caused, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household
  • is capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to a person in relation to that person's occupation of residential premises
  • is capable of causing housing-related nuisance or annoyance to any person

Examples of anti-social behaviour include:

  • Rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour in public places
  • Neighbours causing a nuisance
  • Problematic congregation

Read more about antisocial behaviour and how to report it

 

Reports and publications Click to get info

Keep up-to-date about what Waltham Forest is doing to keep you safe by signing up for our Community Safety newsletter.

Find out more about our Connecting Communities programme.