The agency will look at how councils are tackling gang problems as part of the new responsibilities to commission public health services that they assumed in April.
Youth violence was cast as a public health issue by the Government in a report responding to the summer 2011 riots across England.
Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, wrote in the foreword: ‘Violence is a public health issue and we must start seeing it and treating it as such.’
Catch22 is a charity that helps people in tough situations, such as being involved in crime or doing badly at school, to turn their lives around. Its dedicated Dawes Unit exists to advance understanding of how the country can tackle problems caused by gangs through policy, research and practices.
Dawes Unit assistant director Tom Sackville said: ‘We want to start a national conversation about how councils, with their new public health responsibilities, can help tackle the problems caused by gangs. MHP’s understanding of the public health reforms means it is well-placed to help us deliver change that will be felt in communities across the country.’
MHP will contribute examples of good practice by councils in 33 areas with significant gang problems to a report due to be published by the Dawes Unit and MHP during the autumn.
The project work will be led by MHP account manager Ben Nunn.