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  1. ITV Report

Charity working with police to stop knife crime helping to rehabilitate

A charity working with police in a bid to cut youth crime is successfully helping to rehabilitate offenders, ITV News has learned.

Divert, a pilot scheme running in south London, works by intervening with offenders at the point of police detention, asking if they have any interest in being rehabilitated.

The scheme, held in Brixton, engaged with 116 young people and of those, 38 individuals are now in employment.

A further 76 are undertaking training or an apprenticeship.

Police have welcomed the charity's intervention following a spate of violent crime in the capital, with London having seen 58 murders already in 2018.

Police inspector Jack Rowlands, who founded Divert, told ITV News: "The whole point of Divert, is that we're dealing with people whilst they're in police custody.

"Whilst they're thinking about the direction of their life, we can offer them something that gets them away from crime, jobs, employment, training, education."

One offender allegedly caught in possession of a knife told ITV News he hopes Divert can help him steer away from reoffending.

He said: "Certain things that I didn't have help with, that's what landed me here, because I didn't have help. But if they can help me with the things I need help with, I wouldn't need to be here."

As the authorities struggle to contain the violence on Britain's streets, the Divert scheme is to spread to more London police stations.