University of Nottingham: Youth violence and knife crime need addressing by Government, says Think Tank

An academic from the University of Nottingham has called on the Government to accept recommendations from a Think Tank after it laid out its plans to tackle the issue of knife crime.

The call comes after the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, failed to mention the issue of youth violence and knife crime in her speech at yesterday’s Conservative Party Conference.

The International Think Tank on Knife Crime and Youth Violence held during the summer, which began with a statement from the Lord Chancellor, has already provided eight key recommendations from 50 professionals representing a wide variety of agencies, including UNICEF.

The event was organised by the Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, and the Lords & Commons Family & Child Protection Group, Chaired by Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP

The aim of the meeting was to review the research on prevalence, prediction and prevention and ‘what works to eliminate youth violence involving knife crime’.

UK research has shown that access to tailored support regarding housing, education, and employment had an impact, with a 50% reduction in young people carrying knives.”
Kevin Browne, Professor of Forensic Psychology & Child Health, at the University of Nottingham
The recommendations:

Recognise the need for male role models where there is an absence of a positive father figure.
Emphasise the value of good parenting (both mothers and fathers) and support the important role of raising children.
Mentoring schemes and Youth Clubs need to be underpinned by long-term funding and jointly planned and overseen by local community groups.
Increase involvement of individuals with ‘lived experience’ and relevant ethnic backgrounds in developing social policies and community strategies for prevention.
Raise awareness and educate parents of the influence of internet and risks posed by violent media and violent social networks.
Change the focus of interventions away from crime-related education and deterrence, to provide young people at risk with practical support related to housing, employment, education, mental health, conflict resolution and social skills with adults, peers, and their families.
Local authorities need to take responsibility for every young person not in school, as they are at most risk. These include those with fixed term or permanent exclusions, those not excluded but asked not to attend and those home schooled.
Increase the availability and funding of alternatives to custody and secure accommodation, such as specialist foster care families, Intensive Supervision and Support (ISS) orders and including Multi-systemic Therapy, so the whole family can be engaged and supported.

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