City Bridge Trust commissioned research into young people and knife crime back in 2004, long before the issue became a major social policy issue. The research, by Lemos&Crane, concluded that there were two major reasons for young people carrying knives:
- Fear of violence from other young people
- To acquire status amongst their peers for carrying and/or being willing to use a knife.
Following the release of the original report,’Fear and Fashion: The use of knives and other weapons by young people’, five independent grant-making trusts formed a partnership. They were:
- City Bridge Trust
- The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
- The John Lyon’s Charity
- Trust for London
- The Wates Foundation
Their intention was to pool financial and intellectual resources to develop and fund a collaborative programme named ‘Fear and Fashion’ which would devise appropriate practical responses to the issues raised in the report. Four exemplar projects were funded in 2007 for three years to develop and test out different interventions to prevent young people from carrying and using weapons.
In 2008, Clear Plan was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the projects over a two-year period. Their final evaluation report has now been published.