The Home Affairs Select Committee has published a new report on knife crime and serious youth violence which calls for dedicated police officers in all schools in areas with an above average risk of youth violence.

The MPs’ report points out that:

  • police-recorded homicides have increased by over a third in the last five years, and knife offences have risen by over 70%

  • the number of under-18s admitted to hospital with knife injuries also rose by a third between 2013/14 and 2017/18

  • a growing number of young males, in particular, are being murdered on Britain's streets.

The Committee is calling for the following.

  • Stronger focus, leadership and direction from the Government and Prime Minister, and an accountable leader in every local area reporting to the Prime Minister on action to bring serious violence down.

  • Major investment in local youth services and prevention work — including a new Youth Service Guarantee to help prevent young people becoming caught up in violence.

  • Urgent action to tackle county lines (using children to traffic drugs into rural areas) — including stronger local safeguarding plans.

  • Substantial additional resources for policing.

  • All schools in areas with above average risk of youth violence to have dedicated police officers.

  • Action to cut school exclusions and end the part-time timetables in alternative education provision.

The Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP, Chair of the Committee, said, "Teenagers are dying on our streets, and yet our inquiry has found that the Government's response to the rise in serious youth violence is completely inadequate. They just haven't risen to the scale of the problem …

Young lives can and must be saved, but the Government and Prime Minister must make it a priority to reduce serious youth violence and get a grip on this crisis immediately".

Last reviewed 2 August 2019