A London based charity has optimised its app to help young people develop career networks for use by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).
London Village Network (LVN), which produces the app of the same name to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds professional networking opportunities, said it has received the relevant data privacy and corporate advice from law firm Hogan Lovells.
This will pave the way from the Met Police to run a pilot for the app that could provide a springboard for its wider use.
The app is part of the LVN service, which points young people aged 14-24 towards organisations that could provide support, and enables volunteers to sign on to its Power of an Hour programme, which involves adults in various fields giving some of their as mentors.
It has been in use for 18 months in Islington, where it was developed, and a handful of other London boroughs. The Met Police is going to pilot the app in its interactions with young people as part of its efforts to reduce youth crime, and LVN hopes to use this as a springboard in expanding its network.
Rachel Box, founder and chief executive officer of LVN, said that at the moment it can provide connections around London but that it is hoping to extend the service nationally.
“The collaboration with Hogan Lovells and the MPS could not be more timely, relevant or welcomed,” she said. “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."
She added that the charity and the police are initially highlighting the service among organisations that could help, but plans to promote it for individuals early next year.
The app is downloadable on iTunes and Google Play and was designed with the support of Google’s director of software engineering Catherine Ruggles.
Image from LVN