16 Jan 2020

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society, said it was ‘extremely worrying’ that a quarter of the offences resulting in a caution or conviction involved 10-17-year-olds.  

“Many young people tell us they carry knives not as a lifestyle choice but for protection and because they are living in fear.  

“We see children being groomed and exploited by organised crime groups to traffic drugs in county lines operations and they may carry knives because they are coerced to threaten rival criminal groups.    

“Too often, however, they receive only a criminal justice response rather than support to understand and address the underlying reasons for their behaviour.  They do not get the help they need and the increase in cautions and convictions for repeat possession of knives among young people is of real concern.  

"The Government must do far more to reverse years of huge cuts to early intervention and youth services, ensuring children who could be at risk get early help and supporting those who are already facing these very real dangers.  

“It’s absolutely vital that this is addressed by the planned new Government cabinet committee aimed at combating knife crime and serious violence, alongside a serious commitment to apprehending the criminals who are cynically exploiting vulnerable children.” 

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