This is the archived version of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner. To view the new website click here
Banner Image


13th August 2020

A ground-breaking programme from Action for Children which diverts young people away from a life of serious organised crime is being rolled out to Newcastle.

As part of a roll out across the UK to Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Cardiff, funded by £4.6 million from The National Lottery Community Fund, Action for Children with Northumbria Police and Newcastle City Council, will work with families and schools in communities over a three-year period.

The programme, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, will target vulnerable young people on the cusp of serious organised crime such as drug supply and distribution, money laundering, stealing to order and illegal enforcement. It will offer targeted support to 11 to 18-year-olds through intensive one-to-one support, peer mentoring, education and employment training.

Today, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, and senior members of the Police and Newcastle City Council joined representatives from Action for Children for a launch event on the innovative project which is designed to help some of Newcastle’s most vulnerable children and young people.

John Egan, director for England at Action for Children said: “Serious organised crime is an issue for the whole of the UK, disproportionately impacts the more vulnerable in our communities, and has a greater presence in socially and economically disadvantaged areas.

“Since 2013 this project has worked intensively with more than 150 young people across Glasgow, diverting them away from a life in serious organised crime and into employment.  As we bring the project across the border, the success from Scotland will lead the way in helping reach those most at risk in Newcastle.

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Northumbria Police and Newcastle City Council, which will help ensure every child and young person has a safe and happy childhood, free from the dark grip of serious organised crime.” 

Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Over the past 12 months my Violence Reduction Unit have been working hard to improve lives to prevent crime, so the launching of Action for Children’s latest serious organised crime programme is very much welcome in Newcastle.

“Young people now are more exposed to criminality and negative life choices than ever before – so additional mentoring, support and education around the impact of criminality will have a profound impact on its participants. By understanding the root causes and what leads people to offend for the first time, we can then support and deter them away from a life of criminality, improve their resilience and promote positive life decisions.

“I fully support this programme, it’s approach and desired outcomes – my VRU will be working hard with Action for Children to ensure this reaches our most vulnerable young people and positively impacts on their lives.”

Judith Hay, Director of Children, Education and Skills at Northumbria City Council, said: “I am delighted to see the launch of the serious organised crime project in Newcastle. This is a great initiative that has clearly made a huge difference to the lives of young people at risk in Glasgow.

“The introduction of this programme into Newcastle will without doubt impact positively on the lives of our young people who are at risk of involvement in serious crime. The key to engaging young people in all walks of life is the quality of relationships that they have with key adults. This programme offers as the core of its operations intensive one to one support and a trusted mentor who will help our young people navigate the many obstacles that they face.

“Newcastle has such strong partnerships across the council, police, health, voluntary and community sector – a key success factor to deliver innovation – and I look forward to seeing the difference this project will make.”