Get Berkshire Active and Thames Valley Police hosted a forum to bring together organisations from across Berkshire to hear more about the underlying drivers of crime locally and also to hear about some of the solutions.

This was the first of a series of forums that provided the context for the drivers of crime such as ACE's (Adverse Childhood Experiences), focusing on early intervention, young people and how sport can play a part in crime prevention.

This forum is following the Serious Violence Strategy announced by the Home Office in 2018. It put greater focus on steering young people away from a life of crime providing support to youth groups and early intervention and prevention with young people, while continuing to promote a strong law enforcement response.

Superintendent Stan Gilmour, LPA Commander at Reading, said: "It's time to enhance the way we collaborate. This forum is a great opportunity to re-shape our approach and start working together-TOGETHER".

Sport is recognised for making an impact on building positive relationships with young people and the focus of the forum was presented by Get Berkshire Active, the local agency for implementing Sport England strategy.

Nick West-Oram, Head of Development and Insight at Get Berkshire Active, said: "Sport provides a unique chance to engage with young people, facilitate gaining new skills and confidence that help building positive alternatives to offending."

Please see the following influential keynote speakers:

Superintendent Stan Gilmour, LPA Commander for Reading

Stan Gilmour is the Local Policing Area Commander for Reading and the Early Intervention lead for Berkshire. Stan is the Integrated Data Lead for the National Policing, Health, and Social Care Working Group and Chairs the Regional Problem Solving Policing Strategic Group. #The_Reading_Model puts Adverse Childhood Experiences at the heart of a cross-sectoral Public Health Approach to crime and victimisation, building an asset based community resilience model that underpins justice, protects vulnerable people, increases community safety, and improves outcomes for all. @StanGilmour.

Cath Marriott, Thames Valley OPCC

Cath entered the world of Crime & Disorder reduction in 2004 in a large Local Authority. She joined the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner a year ago as the Partnerships & Performance lead for the 16 Community Safety Partnerships across the Thames Valley. She manages the relationship between the PCC and CSPs, including the approx. £3m of grant funding they receive annually to deliver against shared priorities.

She has been the lead officer on a wide variety of subjects including Strategic Analysis, Problem Solving & being Evidence Led; Integrated Offender Management; Cyber Crime; Exploitation of vulnerable people; Information Sharing; and Business Crime and has spoken at local, regional and national events throughout her career.

She worked with every CSP to submit a successful bid to the Home Office for a share of the £17m Early Intervention Youth Fund to tackle Serious Youth Violence. As a result, she is now overseeing the deployment of £822k across the Force area and has recruited a PCC funded Project Manager and a Partnership Analyst to support the work.

In her own time, she runs a weekly community craft group to tackle mental health issues and loneliness, volunteers for Search Dogs Buckinghamshire who support PolSAs in looking for high risk MISPERs (esp. dementia and despondent), facilitates Parenting Courses and is a Youth Leader in her church. She is married with two children, 15 and 18 years of age.

Nick West-Oram, Head of Development and Insight at Get Berkshire Active.

Nick joined Get Berkshire Active, who are the strategic lead for Sport England in Berkshire, in 2012 as Commissioning and Development Manager. Nick spent several years developing new relationships and programmes, whilst overseeing the remit for Children and Young People. During this period he oversaw the delivery of nationally recognized programmes Such as Berkshire School Games and Satellite Clubs.

Becoming Head of Development and Insight in 2017, Nick has been a leading advocate in moving the organisation and partners towards tackling social and community issues through sport. He has developed relationships and initiatives with a wide range of partners outside sport, leading to influence and strategic collaborations with local decision makers such as Thames Valley Police, Public Health, Local Authority, Department for Work and Pensions. Nick has developed innovative programmes to test how physical activity supports issues in social care, physical health, mental health, employment, crime prevention, community cohesion and personal development. He also leads on GBA's Insight function.

He is currently developing a number of exciting programmes in partnership with the Police to divert young people away from crime. Building on initial successes in targeted areas such as Britwell in Slough and schools in Reading, we are developing a wider offer linking with agendas like employment and education.

Nick has a degree in Tourism with Recreation and Leisure Business Management, is a qualified level 2 sports coach with a keen interest in personal development and coaching principles both in sport and business teams.

Dave Seward, CEO, Berkshire Youth

A Youth Worker for over 30 years in Berkshire and a passionate advocate for young people and the responsibilities communities should have for their young people. David champions for locally led, community solutions to ensure that all young people have an exciting and vibrant offer in their communities, engaging young people to become better citizens and valued members of their communities.

Having been Chief Executive at Berkshire Youth for nearly 20 years, David has been at the front line of diminishing resources for our young people and the impact that is having on our communities and young people.

There was a huge amount of enthusiasm in the discussions at the event and the presentations were well received by the audience. The key take-aways were:

  1. The causes of crime are a long way up stream of when the offence happens, linked to deprivation
  2. Often childhood is the critical period influencing outcomes – ACE's, protective factors
  3. Working together TOGETHER across agencies and sectors in a genuine collaboration is key to prevention

There was a huge amount of energy from delegates about wanting to be involved in helping tackle issues related to offending and crime prevention.

The feedback overwhelmingly suggested that you would all like to see more of these events and that you found it useful. Likewise the partners involved in delivering the day felt that you all made a massive contribution and that you have helped to significantly move the process of whole-system collaboration forward through this event.

Further Reading on Sport and crime prevention / Desistance

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