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.”