Home Affairs Committee criticises "completely inadequate response" to youth violence
In a report published today, the Home Affairs Committee have described the recent rise in youth violence as a “social emergency” and have outlined a series of recommendations to tackle the issue, including the placing of police officers within schools.
Criticising the government’s Serious Violence Strategy as a “completely inadequate response” to the issue of youth violence, the committee outlined six key recommendations:
· The creation of an accountable leader in every local area who will report to the prime minister on the action they have taken to reduce serious violence
· Major investment in local youth services including a “Youth Service Guarantee” to prevent young people becoming involved in violence
· Urgent action to tackle the issue of “county lines” including strengthening local safeguarding plans
· Additional resources to be allocated to policing
· All schools in areas with above average risk of youth violence to have dedicated police officers
· Action to cut school exclusions and end the part-time status of alternative education provisions
According to statistics included in the report, homicides have increased by over a third in the last five years with knife offences rising by 70 per cent.
The report was highly critical of the actions of the government, detailing a “perfect storm” fuelling youth violence.
The cause of this, the report said, was a combination of cuts to youth services, reduced police budgets, a growing number of young people being excluded from school and taken into care and a “failure” of statutory agencies to keep young people safe.
The report concluded that there is a “serious mismatch” between the government’s diagnosis of the issues and the solutions they have outlined.
Yvette Cooper, the chair of the committee, said: “Teenagers are dying on our streets, and yet our inquiry has found that the government's response to the rise in serious youth violence is completely inadequate. They just haven't risen to the scale of the problem.”
She added: “Teenagers are dying on our streets, and yet our inquiry has found that the government's response to the rise in serious youth violence is completely inadequate. They just haven't risen to the scale of the problem.”