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MSPS, Fresh Visions and Optivo delivers knife crime programme

Knife crime is having a serious and increasing impact on our communities. In London, last year, 132 people died from stab wounds. So far, this year the city has seen over 100 stab related deaths.

Morgan Sindall Property Services (MSPS) has partnered with Fresh Visions and Optivo to deliver a six-month pilot phase of a knife crime programme in the London Borough of Lambeth.

We are focussing on Lambeth as it has one of the highest knife crime rates in all the London boroughs. In 2018 there was 732 recorded incidents, and from 2016 to 2018 there was a 35% increase in knife crime in Lambeth. We are trying to be proactive in addressing this issue and empower the communities living with it.

The programme, starting on 17 December, will have two key focus areas:

  • Knife crime prevention training programme delivered by Lives Not Knives
  • Knife crime first aid training programme sponsored by MSPS and delivered by London Training Centre

Fresh Visions will recruit young people, for both training programmes, through their award winning Motivate scheme, a training and mentoring project designed to help young people find work.

During the six-month programme three accredited First Aid training courses will be delivered, equipping local residents with the skills and knowledge to hopefully save a life of a stabbing victim. To ensure the sustainability and extend its reach of the training programme, six volunteers will be recruited, by Fresh Visions, once they’ve completed the First Aid course. These volunteers will then complete a ‘Train the Trainer’ accreditation enabling them to deliver the workshop to other community groups. Optivo’s Health and Wellbeing Officer will also help to engage and train key community members.

Zoe Jackson at Fresh Visions, said “We know young people are under pressure to keep quiet about knife crime for fear of the consequences. By working alongside them we can begin to have a better understanding of the challenges they face. We can look at the support and training we can provide them for a safer future.”

Romy Rookwood, Project Coordinator – Partnerships and Social Value Impact at Optivo, said “We’re really excited about this new partnership project, working to reduce knife crime in our communities. Working together we’ll equip local people with the skills to help save lives. And, we’ll empower local youth to be better informed, feel safer and achieve their potential.”

Helen Sheen, Head of CSR at MSPS, said “We are delighted to be part of this very important partnership. Violent crimes destroy lives, devastate families, and can have life changing implications on the victims. Stabbings can often be erratic, meaning the extremity of the injuries can vary, however quick thinking and the application of first aid victims can become more stable. The simplest first aid knowledge can help save lives, and we’d like to equip as many people as possible in the communities we work in with these vital skills.”