With knife crime on the rise throughout England, Haringey Labour is aware new approaches are needed to create safe communities to keep young people out of the Criminal Justice System. Last year, there were 346 victims of serious youth violence in the borough demonstrating the extent of the issue.
That’s why we have recently launched a ten-year ‘Young People at Risk Strategy’ to provide activities and opportunities for youngsters at risk of getting involved with crime.
We are going to create a new youth space in Wood Green, more space for young people in libraries, fitness sessions and full summer activity program. It is vital that young people are given the resources and spaces to keep them off the streets.
Haringey Labour also recognises that violent crime is very often a result of underlying issues amongst young people. To address this, we are offered targeted mental health and emotional wellbeing support to young people in Tottenham schools. In addition, a specialist team of outreach workers will work to building relationships with the most vulnerable groups of young people and link them up with the youth activities we have provided.
Many young people who fall into the criminal justice system lack strong role models or come from difficult family backgrounds. Our plans to pair young people with mentors and community leaders will give them someone to look upto while we will be providing more support for victims of domestic violence and families affected by alcohol abuse.
Cllr Mark Blake, cabinet member for communities, safety and engagement, said the council wanted to create an environment where there are “strong, positive relationships between peers, and individuals can flourish and develop”.
He added: “That, ultimately, is going to be the most effective intervention in terms of steering young people away from violence and criminality.
“We are focusing on the most vulnerable – particularly those with special educational needs, looked after children, excluded children, and young, black boys.
“Improving outcomes for these young people is going to be absolutely critical.”
He added: “In terms of the long-term solution to this problem, clearly enforcement action can only go so far.
“It is a multi-faceted issue, and keeping young people out of the criminal justice system is absolutely crucial.”