"Youth services support young people, helping them to make positive choices and keep them safe as they transition to adulthood. These services are even more essential as a result of the COVID-19 crisis."
Responding to a final report by the Youth Violence Commission on serious youth violence, Cllr Katrina Wood, Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
Youth services support young people, helping them to make positive choices and keep them safe as they transition to adulthood. These services are even more essential as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
“This report rightly supports our call for significant extra funding for these cost-effective prevention and early intervention services, including in schools, which can have impact on tackling serious violent crime, including county lines activity and knife crime.
“A public health approach is needed to tackle serious violent crime with the input of a range of partners, including those in the health and education sectors, as opposed to relying solely on a criminal justice strategy.
“Knife crime is causing horrendous destruction and grief in our communities. Retailers, including online businesses, need to stop selling knives by default unless it is a core part of their business, to help stop them falling into the wrong hands and being used as deadly weapons.
“If councils are to be able to tackle serious violence in their communities, the Government needs to use the forthcoming Spending Review to fully fund the services, such as local youth services, youth offending teams and councils’ public health budgets, that help to protect our most vulnerable children and young people.”
The LGA’s Taking a public health approach to tackling serious violent crime contains case studies on councils working in partnership to deliver early interventions which help to prevent children and young people from becoming involved in serious violent crime.