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Crowdfunding boost for city project tackling violent crime

Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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A PROJECT tackling knife crime in Leicester’s communities has been awarded funding both from Leicester’s City Mayor and the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Stop the Fighting and Unite (STFU) – a music and multimedia project working with young men to highlight the consequences of violence – is one of the campaigns raising money via the City Mayor’s Crowdfund Leicester programme.

Now, City Mayor Peter Soulsby and Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, have both agreed to bring STFU’s campaign up to its target of £12,375.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has pledged £5,000 to the scheme, with the City Mayor contributing just over the £6,000 in addition to nearly £750 raised by STFU itself.

STFU’s programme will recruit young men aged 18-30 who are seen as being at risk of getting involved with serious violent crime. They will include unemployed youngsters from city estates and those with no fixed address, and will get to hear first-hand from violent crime victims, their families, offenders and reformed criminals.

Based in Charles Street in the city centre, the project is designed to help educate and inspire change by providing positive activities and workshops run by well-known community members, musicians and groups who have personal experience in this area.

Those involved will produce music and make a short hard-hitting film centred on young people, the consequences of carrying knives and different scenarios of what can happen.

The result will be screened in a celebration event at the Phoenix Cinema, and will be available to local schools youth organisations.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “With knife crime and violent crime generally being very much in the headlines, the kind of project being run by Stop the Fighting and Unit could be key to changing the attitudes and the culture that lead young men to feel they need to carry knives.

“It’s a campaign being run in the heart of the city centre, for our own local young people, and hopefully will be successful not only in helping to re-educate those taking part, but then taking that message out to the wider community through schools and organisations working with other at-risk youngsters.

“It’s a very worthy local scheme which could have a real impact on local communities across Leicester, and I am proud to be able to contribute via my Crowdfund Leicester scheme to bring that work forward.”

Across the UK, young men especially are at high risk of being involved in anti social behaviour that can lead to knife or gun crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, added that tackling knife crime required an innovative approach, and that the venture was more than deserving of support.  

He said: “Knife crime is the result of so many societal issues such as serious and organised crime, drugs, deprivation or hatred, making it imperative that we use a multifaceted toolbox to tackle it.  One size most definitely doesn’t fit all.

“This is an innovative approach, both in terms of how it seeks to tackle knife crime, and the manner in which it has been funded allowing me to join with the city council, charities and community minded individuals to help them meet their fundraising target. 

“I’m interested to see how it works in practice and will make a personal visit as soon as possible.”

For more details of the scheme visit https://www.spacehive.com/stfu

Crowdfund Leicester is hosted by crowd-funding platform Spacehive, and available on Leicester City Council’s website at: https://bit.ly/2yI5zeJ

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