Categorized | Criminal Justice

Gang and youth violence

Gang and youth violence

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a new initiative aimed at ending gang and youth violence. She said: “Gangs and youth violence have been a serious problem in some of our cities for several years now. This fact is widely known, but we need to accept that over the years not enough was done to deal with the underlying drivers of the violence.”

In the immediate aftermath of the August riots the Prime Minister called for a report into Britain’s street gangs, even though only one in five of those arrested in connection with the riots were known gang members. Since then senior ministers, led by the Home Secretary together with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, have undertaken a review of the problem. ‘Ending Gang and Youth Violence: a Cross-Government Report’ is the outcome.

The report includes plans to prevent young people becoming involved in violence in the first place, to provide pathways out of violence and the gang culture for young people wanting to make a break with the past, and to reinforce punishment and enforcement. The report also sets out detailed plans for providing support to local areas to tackle their gang or youth violence problem. Over 20 areas in London, Liverpool, Manchester and the West Midlands are to receive funding of up to a total of £10m.

£400,000 per annum for three years will be provided to improve services to support children and young people under 18 suffering sexual violence and exploitation, including from gangs. Organisations are invited to bid for funding to recruit up to 13 new young people’s advocates who will provide direct and dedicated support to young people who are victims or at risk of sexual violence and exploitation, with a new focus on the girls and young women caught up in gang-related rape and abuse. They will work in areas most affected by gangs.

As reported in the ‘Guardian’, minister for equality Lynne Featherstone, speaking at Lilian Baylis technology school in Kennington last Thursday, said violence against girls in gangs had remained hidden for too long. “I think people would be shocked if they could see the level of violence and abuse against girls in gangs,” she said. She added: “Our first priority is to protect girls who can see themselves as worthless objects to be used in unacceptable ways.”

The full text of ‘Ending Gang and Youth Violence: a Cross-Government Report’ can be found at:

www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/crime/ending-gang-violence/gang-violence-detailreport

This post was written by:

- who has written 462 posts on Upper Case – The Anya Legal Journal.

Mike Gribbin is a retired Civil Servant with wide experience, including the drafting and implementation of Parliamentary legislation and regulations. He is the editor of “Criminal Offences Handbook”, a uniquely comprehensive guide to more than one thousand ways to fall foul of UK criminal law. He is Editor of the Upper Case Legal Journal and has been writing blog posts for the past eight years.

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