The St James Street Big Local Partnership is a community led partnership of local residents and business owners funded by the Big Lottery Foundation whose mission is to make their community and their area an even better place in which to live. Part of the St James Street Big Local Partnership’s Plan to achieving this is to reduce anti-social behaviour in the area. To assist with this work, IARS has been engaged to develop a coordinated plan to better address the specific issue of anti-social behaviour and youth gang related drug crime in the St James Street area.
There are a number of existing approaches already being deployed in area by police, the Waltham Forest Council via its Gang Prevention Programme Enough is Enough, the Youth Offending Team, schools and existing community organisations. The goal of this project is to assist the St James Street Big Local Partnership to better join up the dots between the work these different agencies are undertaking and create a more coordinated approach that also allows the local community to be involved in identifying solutions.
The project’s primary objectives are to:
a) Develop a youth and community led process to create a new strategy for all stakeholders to work together in a more coordinated joined up way to reduce anti-social behaviour and youth gang related drug crime around St James Street;
b) Advise on the resources available to implement this strategy so as to sustainably tackle the problem; and
c) Develop an evaluation framework to measure outcomes and demonstrate impact.
The project will be completed from June 2016 to March 2017 (10 months) and will include the following phases:
a) Research to map the extent of anti-social behaviour, drug crime and youth gang involvement in the area and identify examples of successful approaches which have been used elsewhere to tackle similar situations.
b) Consulting with young people, their families and community members to provide user-led feedback on project outputs.
c) Conducting interviews and/or focus groups with key stakeholders to identify their needs and the underlying causes of the problem, including: local statutory agencies, voluntary and community organisations, local residents and business owners and Ward Councillors.
d) Conducting interviews and/or focus groups with key service providers to map current resource capacity, service provision, and response mechanisms.
e) Working with all stakeholders to develop a plan (Theory of Change) that identifies the resources and activities necessary to achieve the desired outcomes.
f) Developing a monitoring and evaluation framework and any necessary data collection tools to sit alongside this plan so that outcomes can be measured and impact demonstrated.
The project will utilise a youth-led approach in recognition of the fact that effective engagement of local young people will be critical to the degree to which the underlying causes of the drug crime and gang activity around St James Street can be identified and effective targeted responses can be developed. In order to ensure that the project is designed, executed and evaluated in the best interests of children and young people, IARS will engage with local young people, as well as our own standing internal Youth Advisory Board (YAB), to scrutinise design and delivery and ensure that outcomes are relevant to young peoples’ interests, views and opinions.