Youth and Community Centre Safety Scheme
The Youth and Community Centre Safety Scheme (YACCSS) is a blue light collaboration between the Metropolitan Police Service, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and Secured by Design to create safer places for both staff and the community to enjoy educational, diversionary and community based activities at Youth and Community Centres.
Many of these community provisions are run by charity and volunteer organisations. The buildings which host them often lack investment and the organisations find it difficult to provide a safe and secure space for users to enjoy their activities.
The scheme allows Youth and Community Centres which suffer violent crime to apply for funding to improve the physical security of their premises. In addition, the youth clubs receive defibrillators along with the necessary training to use them in the event of a violent attack and the London Fire Brigade also carry out inspections of the premises to identify and mitigate any fire hazards and provide advice around fire evacuation plans.
You can find out more about some of the premises which have benefitted from this initiative below.
Met Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball:
“Targeting violent crime remains the Met’s number one priority and requires a collective effort, as seen here in the success of this scheme, to prevent acts of violence from occurring in the first place. This initiative forms part of the wider work officers from across the Met have been doing to ensure we are prepared and ready to tackle any violence through the summer months.”
London Fire Brigade’s Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Paul Jennings:
"The Brigade has been a key partner in the Youth and Community Centre Security Scheme, working closely with our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police Service and Secured by Design to help ensure that young people in London have a safe place within their community that they can go. Area fire safety managers and advisors carried out inspections, supported with arson mitigation and provided tailored fire safety advice, working with our partners to ensure that the necessary actions were taken to reduce fire risks and create safer spaces.”
Secured by Design CEO, Guy Ferguson:
“The Met’s Designing Out Crime Officers have been instrumental in conceiving this project and driving it forwards, and it is an excellent showcase of the work that they do on a daily basis to help make our communities safer. Their work is absolutely critical in terms of policing, but often goes under the radar and does not receive the credit that it deserves.
“Crime prevention has never been more important, especially when the police service is under increasing pressure from many directions, and I commend all involved in this project.”
Tim Saunders, Youth Club Manager at Alford House:
“Any youth worker will tell you that they strive to carry out activity in a safe environment, both physical and emotional. Anything that improves safety must be welcomed. The new design actually makes the entrance to the club much more welcoming than before, while improving our ability to see exactly who is coming in and out.
“It’s terrific that these features lead to greater security for all who use the club, and this investment in youth clubs is most welcome. The parents of younger members are pleased and the older members have commented on what a good idea it is.”
Simon Cham, Technical Security Advisor at Warrior Doors:
“We hope, as the Metropolitan Police Service and others involved in the project do, this progresses into a national one, better ensuring safe spaces for young people to positively engage, build their knowledge base and social interactive skills.”