Background

There are children being injured or killed by other children every day. Although many organisations are working on the streets and in the communities to help deal with these issues and the underlying causes, they are often working in isolation which makes them less effective. 

How many stabbings were there in London in 2018?

Figures from London’s Metropolitan police showed that knife crime surged by 16 per cent in the capital year-on-year in 2018, as Britain’s crime epidemic continues.

There were 1,299 stabbings in London up to the end of April, according to official statistics from the Met Police.

In 2017-18, there were 137 knife offences for every 100,000 people in the capital.

The lack of regard for community voices and lack of representation of residents at decision making arenas must improve if there are to be any changes.

These changes can only happen if resources are joined together to build skills. By bringing groups together, resources and skills can be shared to help create a collective voice for communities.

Our plan is to develop a pan-London network of organisations that can effectively provide local solutions to the problem and have a real impact on communities. Whilst gaining understanding of the causes of these issues we can utilise the experiences and expertise of these groups.

However, we need to change the tone of the conversation and focus on the positive. Whilst ensuring that the issues are raised and dealt with strategically, we need to provide young people with a platform, parents with support and skills and communities with opportunities.

Evidence of need

Hundreds, maybe thousands of groups are working tirelessly on a shoestring budget. Some with very little support or experience, are working hard to improve their communities and prevent young people from getting involved in gangs and serious youth violence. However, in 2018 a huge number of young people were killed and many more were injured in minor and probably unreported acts of violence relating to gangs. Government money has been invested in national mentoring projects but still these numbers rise.

There were 1,299 stabbings in London up to the end of April, according to official statistics from the Met Police. In 2017-18, there were 137 knife offences for every 100,000 people in the capital. 2018 was London’s bloodiest year in almost a decade as the murder toll reached 134.9 Jan 2019

It’s a common belief (that we share) that the reason for these incidents is that the complex and underlying issues, the root causes of serious youth violence, are not being addressed and that we need to find innovative ways of finding solutions to the problems. We cannot do this in isolation, no one group or neighbourhood can make change for the whole of London, but if we can collectively pool the work of numerous domestic violence groups, youth groups, advice organisations, parenting support groups, victim support and offender rehabilitation projects and positive activities like children and young people therapy, mentoring, sports and arts etc, we can not only compete with the large national projects for funding but can also start being taken seriously by local government and central government.

Local groups are doing a good job with their core services, but they need help with marketing communications and management to help them grow. They also need to understand the wider context and how working in partnership with other group will deliver benefits to their resources, funding, their communities and London.

The complexity of the issues means that there is no one single solution or answer, however, if we can combine specialisms and share information, training and resources we will be stronger, more sustainable and have a bigger impact.