THE fight against knife crime in Oxford has been given nearly a million pounds.

The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has awarded £822,000 to 14 organisations across the Thames Valley to deliver projects aimed at stopping youths from carrying weapons and being exploited.

It comes after a string of knife crimes in Oxford over the past year that have seen young people killed, hospitalised or sent to prison.

READ ALSO: Knife crime in Oxford - what's going on?

Matthew Barber, deputy police and crime commissioner, said he hoped the big cash injection will help to reverse the trend by preventing people from getting involved in gangs and helping those already at risk of violence.

Oxford Mail:

Three organisations are being funded to run projects across the Thames Valley while a further six Oxfordshire groups will get thousands of pounds for their local work.

Cutbacks in youth services has partly been blamed for the rise in violence seen across the UK recently along with declining numbers of police officers.

The work will be delivered in partnership with a range of organisations including local authorities, schools, community groups and youth offending teams.

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It includes a range of interventions from experts going in to schools to raise awareness about exploitation to targeted work with young people already involved in gangs and knife crime.

One of the major initiatives will see Crimestoppers deliver workshop sessions via their youth service 'Fearless', educating young people on gangs, knife crime and county lines drug dealing to reduce the risk of them becoming involved in criminality.

Oxford Mail:

Another group, AlterEgo Creative Solutions, will deliver a ‘County Lines’ theatre performance in schools, raising awareness of this issue and signposting young people to advice and support.

Reach Every Generation is being funded to offer training sessions about gangs to professionals that work with young people, sharing real life experiences to raise awareness and equip staff with the knowledge needed to help others.

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Mr Barber said: “Given the recent increase in knife crime, we need to look at what more we can do to protect young people from violence and exploitation and how we can work even more closely in partnership with both statutory and community organisations to try to reverse this trend.

“I hope that these projects we’ve funded will help tackle this issue by working with young people at both ends of the spectrum of youth violence; from early intervention programmes to identify and support those at risk of involvement in knife crime, gangs or drug dealing to supporting those young people already involved; helping them turn their lives around through intensive support and skills training.

“I believe that projects such as these make a real difference to the lives of individuals and communities as a whole and I look forward to seeing these activities progress over the coming months.”

Oxford Mail:

The Oxfordshire-based groups who were successful in their funding bids were Blackbird Leys' RAW Workshop, TRAX, SOFEA, Youth Ambition (part of Oxford City Council), Didcot TRAIN and Nomad.

Brian McNamee, chairman of Didcot TRAIN, said their project will now be developed over the coming months with more being revealed shortly.