Response to the government’s Serious Violence Strategy

Responding to the government’s Serious Violence Strategy Stuart Gallimore, ADCS President, said:

“ADCS welcomes efforts to steer vulnerable young people away from gangs and violent crime but we should resist the temptation to identify a single cause or remedy for the increase in senseless violence and loss of life London has experienced recently. We must also avoid labelling groups of young people as ‘troublemakers’.

“The new Strategy’s focus on prevention and early intervention is welcome, but we will need to read through the finer detail to understand the implications for services. It is important that we learn from the range of evidence-based community projects that already exist to maximise the impact of available funding for as many young people as possible such as the public health approach to reducing violence in Glasgow.

“The impact of austerity, cuts to youth services and across the public sector on the availability of positive activities for young people within their communities cannot be understated. Add to this staggering levels of child poverty and stubbornly high numbers of young people not in education or training, leaving young people with nowhere to go making them more vulnerable to exploitation by gangs. Prevention and early action is key, this must involve co-ordination of a wide range of services, including those to support families and young people, but also stimulating housing, employment opportunities and community facilities. The strategy emphasises the importance of local communities and partnerships yet provides little for local authorities to develop local responses.”


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