31 Jul 2019

Responding to the Home Affairs Committee's report on serious youth violence, Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society: “This report must act as a wake-up call to the Government to do far more to tackle growing levels of serious violence and knife crime affecting vulnerable young people which are leaving some living in fear. 

“We see the devastating impact of violence on children who are cynically groomed to commit crimes like trafficking drugs in county lines operations - and who may be coerced to carry out violence against rival criminal groups.  These children should be recognised as victims of exploitation, not end up being criminalised. 

“Councils, police forces and other organisations must work together to recognise the warning signs that children could be vulnerable as early as possible - including to risks outside the home - and respond to the causes of serious violence before it is too late. 

“Extra investment is needed in professional training, prevention, early intervention and youth services to help children overcome challenges in their lives and the Government must urgently address the £3bn shortfall facing council children’s services departments by 2025.” 

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