The physical and mental safety of young people in London has reached crisis point, with tragic incidences of serious youth violence occurring daily.
Some of the worst instances have taken place in our own borough of Camden, with multiple young people dying within hours of each other this year alone. In response to this Camden Council leader Georgia Gould established the Camden Youth Safety Taskforce, chaired by Keir Starmer MP and Councillor Abdul Hai, to urgently look into causes and possible solutions to the problem.
Staff from New Horizon’s Youth Outreach Project, which works directly with some of the highest risk young people in prison and the community, were invited to contribute to the taskforce, which last night launched a report on its findings. These include the results of investigations into the root causes of youth violence, from exploitation in the drugs trade to a lack of opportunities and support to enable young people to take a more positive path.
In addition to launching the report Camden Council announced £500,000 of funding to enact its recommendations, including the use of preventative measures involving the whole community to the provision of support for those young people traumatised by violence, and the use of enforcement targeted at those at the top of drugs market.
The impact of the youth violence epidemic on the people we support can’t be overstated – the amount of trauma and grief they are dealing with at such a young age is already shocking, let alone the fact that many are literally living in fear of their lives.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute our considerable experience to the report, and look forward to seeing the positive impact of its recommendations on the lives of young people in the borough.
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