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Council leads on bid for Lancashire-wide anti-crime scheme

Published Wednesday 23 October 2019 at 9:33

Blackburn with Darwen Council has led a successful bid on behalf of Pennine Lancashire for a ground-breaking programme to work with young people who may be at risk of becoming involved in criminal behaviour.

The £343k grant from the Youth Endowment Fund will be invested in the wider roll out of the ‘Pause 4 Thought’ initiative, which aims to address early stage criminality by teaching young people to recognise warning signs that could lead to harm and how to respond effectively to stay out of trouble.

The Council led the bid for the Pennine Community Safety Partnership, which includes the local authorities of East Lancashire, NHS organisations such as Blackburn with Darwen CCG alongside Lancashire Constabulary, Lancashire Probation Service and Lancashire fire and rescue service.

Following a successful pilot, the scheme will now be rolled out across Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.

Pause 4 Thought uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as a tool to manage and mitigate factors which lead to violence and risk taking, teaching people to take perspective in the bigger picture and think ahead rather than thinking solely in the here and now.

In the USA similar programmes have seen a 44 per cent reduction in the risk of a person going onto commit crime with a focus on violence prevention.

The Youth Endowment Fund is a nationwide initiative to fund, support, and evaluate programmes looking for best practice of national significance currently focussed on preventing youth violence.

The Fund was established with a £200m endowment from the Home Office.

Councillor Mustafa Desai, Executive Member for Adult Services and Prevention, said:

Pause 4 Thought was one of 22 programmes funded nationally from around 460 applications so my congratulations and thanks to those that helped with the application process.

Developing approaches to preventing violence and improving the long-term life outcomes of residents has long been a policy priority both locally and nationally.

Violent Crime across the whole region place demand on front line services from a range of agencies and providers at a time of reducing resources. This programme will look to develop some early intervention work that will mitigate this demand.

Dr Rakesh Sharma, Clinical Lead at NHS East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups, said:

I am delighted to hear that this initiative has been successful and pleased that young people will benefit from the effectiveness of CBT which has helped so many people in the area.

Sir Kevan Collins, Chair of the Youth Endowment Fund, said:

The safety and wellbeing of young people is our first priority. Our first round of grants is the start of a 10-year programme of work designed to build a better understanding of what works to prevent young people being drawn into crime and a violence.

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