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Youth workers for A&E departments

Youth workers are going into two more Accident and Emergency departments to offer support for people aged 25 and under. West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson says they will work alongside clinical staff at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton; and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, in Coventry, to identify those who might be caught up in a cycle of violence. Medical staff will alert the youth workers to victims of serious youth violence, sexual violence or abuse, who are admitted to hospital.

The PCC has already placed youth workers in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham via the charity Redthread. These new youth workers have been recruited by the St Giles Trust. The charity was commissioned to carry out the work for an initial 12 months by the PCC-backed Violence Prevention Alliance. David Jamieson has described a surge in violent crime as a ‘national emergency’.

David Jamieson said: “The introduction of additional youth workers in our region’s hospitals will prove invaluable in the fight against violent crime. Experts describe the moment when a person has been seriously injured and is lying in a hospital bed as a ‘teachable moment’ and a time when that person is more likely to be open to help and support. Placing youth workers in accident and emergency units is just one of the many ways I am working to reduce the number of deaths from violent crime and breaking the cycle of re-offending.”

Steve Clarke, for the St Giles Trust, said: “It is well documented that violence amongst young people is a serious issue and an issue we need to tackle. Our service in A&E departments will give us an opportunity to engage with those individuals in their hour of need and our youth workers will be on hand to offer tailored support to lead them away from the violence that caused them to end up in hospital.”

The PCC meanwhile has installed two new weapon surrender bins in Birmingham, at Morrisons in Rubery and at Ghamkol Sharif Mosque in Small Heath, making a total of 15.


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