Hogan Lovells advises as The Metropolitan Police Service enlists London Village Network to help reduce youth violence and increase positive engagement

London, 30 November 2020 – London Village Network (LVN) today announced that global law firm Hogan Lovells has provided the charity with data privacy and corporate advice to optimise their app for use by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) as they seek to stamp out knife crime and youth violence.

The app not only connects young people with individual mentors, but also employs a signposting youth mapping function that helps young people see the wide range of support available including job and apprenticeship opportunities, local events and other youth services. It is designed so that young people can swipe through the opportunities in their area – and more than 1,400 opportunities are currently posted. The MPS will pilot using the app’s signposting to give Police officers the tools to have more positive and meaningful interactions with young people.

"The collaboration with Hogan Lovells and the MPS could not be more timely, relevant or welcomed," said Rachael Box, founder and CEO of grassroot charity LVN. "The last year has been a tough one for youth; 2019 saw the highest number of deaths due to knife and gang-related violence in London in 10 years and COVID-19 means that youth unemployment could be heading for an all-time high, making young people feel more disenfranchised and leaving them potentially at-risk. We want to forge as many positive connections as possible, and Hogan Lovells and MPS help us do just that."

Rachel Kent, lead Hogan Lovells partner on the project, said, "The Hogan Lovells team has been delighted to be involved in a project that has centred on building networks – both to strengthen the LVN app and to build a cross-sector response to help young people to find new opportunities."

Using the MPS pilot as a springboard, LVN is hoping to expand their networks and the app. Hogan Lovells has connected its Diversity & Inclusion and Graduate Recruitment Teams to offer opportunities on the app. 

Chief Inspector Jack Rowlands said of the collaboration: "It is really positive to see an application that not only offers opportunities for young people, but for organisations too, to showcase what they can do to help. The Metropolitan Police Service will be able to signpost young people to use the application and access opportunities. In addition, we can share the LVN App with organisations that we work with to enable them to sign up and highlight what they do. Using an accessible and effective digital platform, we hope that we are able to provide more opportunities to young people and help to keep them safe from violence and harm."

About LVN

The LVN seeks to tackle network poverty in a world where finding employment is often not about what you know, but who you know. The LVN supports the inclusion and equality of vulnerable young people (14-24 year-olds), typically at risk of exclusion or NEET (not in employment, education or training). These young people are majority:

  • (BAME) Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic; 
  • From families where unemployment has affected multiple generations within the same household;
  • Prison leavers; 
  • Care leavers;
  • Those living in economically deprived communities, often characterised by high density living and crime hot spots. 

LVN brings businesses, statutory services, community and youth together, via its digital app, to provide young people with networks, opportunities and a chance. LVN aims to level up opportunities for all young people and increase participation in meaningful training, employment and education, and improve long term income prospects. At the same time, LVN mobilises positive adults in the community to have a stronger influence and put young people onto positive pathways, change their mindsets and feel accepted. 

About the LVN app

The LVN app is a smart, cost-effective, scalable digital youth hub that manages and measures the impact of its services. It is a two-fold solution, with its 'Power of an Hour' methodology that connects youth with successful adult mentors; and the Signposting function used by the MPS and other frontline practitioners to directly connect young people with opportunities and support.

Funding received from John Lyon's Charity as part of the Cornerstone Initiative has been a significant factor behind the development and success of the LVN app. Dr Lynne Guyton, CEO of John Lyon's Charity, said "John Lyon’s Charity are proud to support LVN in their mission to ensure that all young people have access to good networks and visibility to the wide range of support available."

The app is downloadable on iTUNEs and GOOGLE PLAY and its design has been supported by LVN Trustee, Google Director of Software Engineering and master coder, Catherine Ruggles.

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