UK Parliament publishes report on serious youth violence

Date: 14th August 2019
Category: Basic Health and Welfare, Right to life, survival and development

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has published a report on serious youth violence in England and Wales, examining the extent to which the current UK Government’s response matches the scale of the problem.

The report outlines the rise of serious youth violence in England and Wales, manifested as an increase of the number of under-18s admitted to hospital with knife injuries and in the number of under-18s being murdered. In addition, an increase in police-recorded homicides by over a third and knife offences by over 70% in the last five years has been reported.

The report concludes that the UK Government’s Serious Violence Strategy 2018 is an inadequate response to this wave of violence, as it contains no targets or milestone and no clear mechanisms for driving forward activity at a national and regional level. Moreover, a lack of leadership and focus and more new actions has been noted. Meanwhile, the UK Government’s commitment to a public health approach has been welcomed.

The report recommends that:

  • The UK Government must make it a central priority to keep young people safe and prevent more families from going through this terrible trauma. The new Prime Minister should take personal responsibility for reducing serious youth violence and driving activity in this area, tasking Cabinet Ministers with taking ownership for key actions.
  • The UK Government should provide a list of named accountable leaders in every region or county of England and Wales by the end of September.
  • The Ministerial Taskforce and the Serious Violence Taskforce should be monitoring progress across a common dataset, collected consistently across the country.

Read the report here.