Building our partnerships with local organisations to reduce violence and crime in the city
For the past 3 years, and throughout the pandemic, Nottingham Forest has been working alongside The Home Office, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to significantly reduce the number of knife crime incidents involving young people Nottingham city centre.
Nottingham Forest Community Trust (NFCT) were commissioned by the Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner and VRU to partner with specialist youth worker organisation, Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges (BBBB) to de-escalate potential serious violent incidents to make the city centre streets safer.
The programme was launched to target high traffic areas of the city, including the Clumber Street area of Nottingham.
Set up in 2014, Breaking Barriers Building Bridges runs a variety of services across Nottingham, aimed at changing the lives of the city’s young people. The organisation brings people together through activities and provide advice, guidance, and information to meet the needs of young people who come through their doors.
BBBB deploys youth workers – many of whom have lived experience of street violence – into areas of the city where youths regularly meet and congregate. In 2020 alone, 120 violence reduction sessions were delivered across 480 hours.
Nottingham Trent University conducted an independent report which showed that the incidents of knife crime were significantly reduced when the face-to-face youth work team was operating. Data from the VRU shows that in Nottingham over the past year, serious violence, including knife crime is down 22% when compared to the pre-pandemic average.
Currently, a team of four detached youth workers from BBBB work on the streets of the city centre five-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week throughout the year. Alongside de-escalating potential violent incidents in the city, the team deliver one-to-one mentoring sessions that deter young people away from crime and gang culture.
This ongoing activity has recently led to NFCT securing a vacant property in the city where mentoring in a safe and secure environment can take place.
In recognition of this work, NFCT and BBBB were awarded in 2020 with the Police and Crime Commissioner Nottinghamshire Community Safety Award.
Nottingham Forest Community Trust CEO, Graham Moran, BEM said “Over the last 2 years we’ve worked very closely with BBBB, they deliver on the ground and they know everyone in Nottingham and their work with young people has made a big impact in the city centre.”
Graham continued, “The statistics from the recent study show a reduction in crime which is really positive news for Nottingham and compared to national averages, it’s really good. This partnership with multiple organisations is a true reflection of public, private and third sector working together to a great cause.”
As the Trust looks to continue the effective programme, Nottingham Forest has also joined forces with the Nottingham BID by investing in this valuable work and will continue in the future into 2022 and beyond.