Mayor reveals driving factors behind violence affecting young people and invests in support for almost 100,000 more young Londoners

  • City Hall publishes its most detailed analysis yet which lays bare the extent of the link between violence and poverty, deprivation and unemployment
  • Latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down, with youth violence, knife crime and gun crime also falling
  • Evidence shows the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of being affected by violence
  • Sadiq sets out his commitment to provide positive opportunities for young Londoners and to give them hope for a brighter future

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced his commitment to support almost 100,000 more young Londoners over the next year, investing in opportunities to help them thrive and to help divert them away from violence.

Today, Sadiq has published new City Hall analysis that reveals the complex factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities that can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting caught up in violence. This includes deep-rooted and ingrained social and economic issues such as poverty, inequality, high unemployment, school exclusions, poor mental health and a lack of youth services.

The new research City Hall released today shows that all 10 of the boroughs with the highest rates of victims of serious violence have higher rates of child poverty than the London average. 

The analysis also shines a light on how violence is having a disproportionate impact on young Black Londoners who are significantly overrepresented, both as victims and offenders. For instance, Black teenage boys are six times more likely to be killed by violence than white boys in London. 

Delivering a major speech at The Black Prince Community Trust in Lambeth, the Mayor will highlight the worrying impact the pandemic has had on young Londoners.

Research has demonstrated the link between high rates of unemployment and levels of violence, and City Hall analysis reveals the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of becoming involved in, or a victim of, violence, by pushing more young Londoners into unemployment and poverty. For example, Universal Credit claims have risen by nearly 130 per cent – with the highest increases in the top five boroughs for rates of serious youth violence.  

London also has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country as the city has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the huge impact on the sectors such as hospitality.

More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019. [2] Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence. [3] This is just one of the reasons that the Mayor was clear that a top priority for his second term in office would be ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ for Londoners. Through the Mayor’s schemes he is offering every Londoner who is unemployed or earning under the London living wage the chance to enrol on a course to retrain and help them find employment.

Reducing violence and making London safer is the Mayor’s number one priority. New analysis from City Hall shows that all types of serious violence experienced by young people have fallen over the last four years. Figures show that violence was falling in London before the pandemic, and over the past year knife crime, youth violence and gun crime have come down further. [1]. The research shows that serious crimes such as knife crime resulting in injury is down 36 per cent and under-25 knife crime has reduced 48 per cent, compared to the peak in the twelve months to December 2017. But the Mayor is clear there is much more to do to stop young lives being lost to senseless violence, and to prevent violence from happening in the first place.

Speaking in south London today about the commitment to redouble efforts to reduce violence as London recovers from the pandemic, Sadiq will set out how he will continue to be both tough on crime and tough on the complex causes of crime.  This means ensuring the police have the resources they need to bear down on criminality, gangs and the drugs market, as well as the importance of investing in positive opportunities for young Londoners to give them hope for the future.

The Mayor set up London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – the first in England – to deliver programmes that support young Londoners through education, training and help into employment. Sadiq will today announce that over the course of the next 12 months, City Hall and the VRU will be delivering a combined package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.

On his pledge to empower and invest in the future of young Londoners the Mayor is expected to say:

“Every death as a result of this needless violence is an utter tragedy. It leaves lives destroyed and families grieving, it tears communities apart, fuels fear and deprives our city of so much talent.   

“The latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down by 39 per cent compared to 2019, and by 31 per cent compared to 2018.  Overall, youth violence has been going down. Knife crime has been going down. And gun crime has been going down.  The level of violence impacting young Londoners remains far too high and we clearly have a long way to go, but it’s important that we acknowledge signs of progress so that we can learn from what’s starting to work and build upon it. 

“My main message today is not one of despair, rather a message of determination that we are redoubling our efforts to reduce violence as we recover from the pandemic.

“A crucial part of the solution is always going to be supporting the police to bear down relentlessly on criminality, which I will continue to do.  But we must be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. Because the truth is we know there’s a complex set of factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities, which can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting involved in violence.  

“The vast majority of young Black Londoners are not involved in violence in any way. But young Black Londoners are significantly more likely to be a victim or a perpetrator of serious violence. That’s because it’s not skin colour that determines your chances of being a victim or an offender, but societal and economic factors, such as the disproportionate rates of poverty, unemployment and school exclusions that affect Black lives.

“When I highlight these conditions associated with violence, I’m not excusing criminality in any way. But any sensible society understands that it’s in our own interest to remove the conditions that allow criminality to thrive. To provide positive opportunities for young Londoners who could otherwise be vulnerable to exploitation. To proactively tackle the structural barriers and racial inequality that Black Londoners face – from housing and poverty to education and the workplace. And to give young Londoners hope for a brighter future. 

“Surely, we must all want young Londoners to feel like they have a stake in society, rather than feeling so hopeless that they’re willing to stake their lives for so little. 

“I’m pleased to announce that next year – over the course of just 12 months – we’ll be stepping up our work with a package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.”  

Notes to editors

The new analysis, published by the Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit, looks at the driving factors behind young people becoming involved in or a victim of violence.

This reveals the link between violence and school exclusions, deprivation and poverty, including areas where people are most likely to struggle to access food. In addition, the research highlights the disproportionate impact violence is having on young Black Londoners.

Understanding the most serious violence among young people in London, Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unithttps://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/serious-youth-violence

Key findings:

  • Young Black Londoners are disproportionately represented amongst the victims of all types of serious violence – they are three times more likely than young White Londoners to be a victim of knife crime, and five times more likely to be a victim of homicide.
  • Rates of offending for the most serious violence, knife crime and homicide were highest for those aged 15-19
  • Under 25s knife crime (non-DA) down 48% compared to its peak in the twelve months to December 2017
  • Total knife crime resulting in injury was 36% lower than the peak recorded in twelve months to November 2017
  • Gun crime was 50% below the peak recorded in twelve months to July 2017
  • Lethal barrelled gun discharges were 52% lower than the peak recorded in the twelve months to December 2018
  • Burglary was 34% below the volume recorded in the peak period of twelve months to October 2019
  • Absence rates from secondary school were also a significant factor in predicting Boroughs with the highest rates of offending relating to serious violence [1]
  • London has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country. More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019. [2] Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence. [3]
  • During the pandemic, Universal Credit claims have increased by 186 per cent in Brent and 177 per cent in Newham – two of the top five boroughs for rates of offending.[4]
  • 54,000 young people aged 16-24 in London claimed unemployed-related benefits in October 2021 – 7.3 per cent of Londoners in that age group, up from 3.8 per cent in March 2020.[5]
  • The number of food parcels given out by the Trussell Trust more than doubled in London in 2020/21 – higher than in any other part of the country. Seven of the boroughs with the largest increase were also in the top 10 for serious violence.[6]

Refences

[1] Understanding the most serious violence among young people in London, Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/serious-youth-violence

[2] ONS Labour Force Survey

[3] ONS Claimant count by sex and age

[4] Department for Work and Pensions most recent data for March-September 2021

[5] ONS Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information

[6] Trussell Trust report: https://www.trusselltrust.org/news-and-blog/latest-stats/end-year-stats/

SOURCE TAKEN FROM: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/driving-factors-behind-violence-affecting-young-pehttps://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/driving-factors-behind-violence-affecting-young-pe

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