Youth Street violence is an important concern across the EU and it is often connected to risk factors, such as alcohol or drug abuse, lack of parental involvement, parental conflicts, negative peer influences, gang culture, exclusion, poverty.
Against this backdrop, the project aimed to elaborate, experiment and mainstream an innovative approach to tackle juvenile street violence in EU towns, through: a core number of practical prevention strategies; a toolkit based on specific diagnostic methodologies; direct exchanges and mutual cooperation among EU towns communities.
The following activities were undertaken within the project:
The project started with a comparative research of the EU and global best practices as a framework for the development of new experimental policy initiatives aiming to prevent youth street violence.
As a result of this activity, an Interactive Catalogue of Youth Violence Prevention Programmes was delivered in EN, IT and SP: it describes 21 experiences of effective initiatives for tackling youth street violence in Europe, namely Italy, UK, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovenia.
A "Masterclass on mediation" with young people was organized in Itlay.It aimed at providing a qualified training to 20 relevant practitioners dealing with youth education and social participation and security (public and private social professionals, teachers, youth centers managers, psychologists, educators, policemen). The Masterclass used a very practical and interactive learning approach, in order to develop the following specific skills: (i) mediation and negotiation approach in handling juvenile conflicts; (ii) communication with young people; (iii) intergroup relations; (iv) working groups management; (v) non formal and participatory learning methods; (vi) interactive web-communication tools.
In each project Country a Local Task Force for the Community Action Planning was organized. In order to ensure common tracks and approach, the Guidelines for the organization of the Local Community Task Force was provided to the three Task Forces in Italy, Spain and UK.
Peer Group Laboratories were carried out in all partner countries. In order to ensure the coordination and a basic common approach of the 3 Youth Anti-Violence transnational Laboratories, some common tools were provided to the responsible Partners, such as:
Guidelines for the organization of the local Anti-Violence Youth Laboratory: the document suggested the common features for the organization of the laboratories, to be adapted to the local context
Moreover, sensitization campaigns - through online, radio, press and street activities - took place in all partner countries.
Additionally, local targeted trainings were carried out in all partner countries to share all campaign materials.
Finally, a Anti-Violence Transnational Conference took place on February 27th, 2013 in Italy to further dieeminate all project results.
The project tackled youth violence from complementary perspectives: the gangs’ issues in the Westminster Borough in London; the youth violence related to the deprived conditions of young people in the rural areas of the County of Cordoba; the youth violence in Pescara as a recent manifestation of a distorted social relations among young people in a context of aggregation, amusement and excess like the week-end nights.
The project also integrated the perspectives of communities’ stakeholders, local authorities and young people. The project offered an alternative view in regard to the rootcauses of violence, claiming that street violence is an individual choice, only in part originated by the external social context.
In the light of this consideration, it is every individual's responsibility to refuse the negative and anti-social behaviours. This can be achieved by active involvement and participation of young people in the community.
Public authorities must therefore play a role in this regard. With this in mind, all public administrations involved in the project stepped forward to continue the work started by the project.