Russell Webster - Work with Offenders
Work with Offenders examines a major new report from a three year inquiry
Tomorrow sees the launch of a major new report from the Youth Violence Commission. The Commission was established by Vicky Foxcroft, the Labour MP for Lewisham Deptford in 2016 after seeing several young people from her constituency lose their lives to youth violence in her first few months as an MP. She brought together Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum, academics and sector experts in a bid to identify the root causes of youth violence and propose how policymakers should move forwards.
The report was originally finished in early spring and scheduled for launch in March. However, that launch was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic and the report has been updated in the light of COVID-19.
The cause of youth violence
The Commission is keen to emphasise that the precise causes of any two incidents of serious violence is never exactly the same but that there are a number of significant factors which increase the likelihood of young people committing – or being subjected to – serious violence. These include:
The economic and social cost of violence
Serious youth violence across England and Wales generated a total economic and social cost of £1.3 billion in 2018/19, representing a rise of over 50% compared to the 2014/15 figure.
Of course these economic costs do not include the devastating personal and social costs to so many individuals and communities affected by youth violence including the children who have tragically had their lives cut short and their bereaved families and friends.
A public health approach and violence reduction units
The Commission commends the public health approach and violence reduction units recently endorsed by the government and advocates that all such units should involve three main stages:
The Commission calls for a long-term strategic approach which should not be disrupted by local or central government elections.
The report concludes by making a strong recommendation that the government continues its public health approach to reducing serious violence and makes a long-term commitment to funding violence reduction units. It also makes a number of other recommendations including: