Our response to government proposals to tackle teenage gangs

01 November 2011

The Children’s Society welcomes any move by the government to protect children from gang involvement at an early age, including further investment. But the charity warns that the measures suggested today by the home secretary, Theresa May, cannot be seen as a foolproof way of stopping young people from getting involved in gangs and criminal behaviour.

Enver Solomon, Policy Director at The Children’s Society, comments:

'There is no easy answer to what is a complex social problem but it is clear that enforcement alone will not address the problem. It is vital that the government looks closely at the underlying issues that need to be addressed in these young people’s lives.

'More children than ever before are not in education employment or training. Many live in deprived areas and feel cut off from mainstream society, this frustration and alienation causes young people to find a place where they can feel that they belong and tragically gangs supported by criminal activity is often a place where they seek refuge.

'We know from our practice that building bridges within the community through projects that work across generational divisions ensure these young people have support networks and feel they belong, this can make a difference in diverting them away from crime and gangs.'

Ends

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Notes to editors

The Children's Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.