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Anti-gang programme defended
Waltham Forest Council has defended its anti-gang work after an independent report cast doubt over whether it was responsible for cutting crime.
The council-commissioned research by consultants Cordis Bright found there had been a fall in violent crime in all London boroughs with a serious gang problem.
It added that data on the performance of Waltham Forest’s Enough is Enough programme had not been collected efficiently enough to properly monitor performance.
This is despite a report presented to a council scrutiny committee last week claiming the programme was helping to reduce street violence.
Council leader Chris Robbins insists the investment is money well spent and is changing lives.
He said: “The report acknowledges that ultimately the programme has succeeded in helping to make the borough a safer place and points to positive outcomes in terms of exit from gang involvement, improved family relationships and help with education, employment and training.
"These are all real results that have a real impact on the young people, their families and the very communities we are seeking to help.”
The programme was the first of its kind in the country and has gained praise for encouraging gang members and their families to solve issues such as housing and addiction problems.
“We simply play a part in encouraging those things and helping people when they make that decision,” a council spokesman said.
A further £2million of funding will go towards the programme over its three-year duration.
The independent report noted that ‘stakeholders’ valued the programme as innovative and ambitious, and acknowledged that, due to recruitment issues and restructuring in the council, the programme was operating in challenging circumstances.