Serious Youth Violence

Serious Youth Violence

What is serious youth violence?

Serious Youth Violence is defined as ‘any offence of most serious violence or weapon enabled crime, where the victim is aged 1-19′ i.e. murder, manslaughter, rape, wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm

Violence has become a part of every day life, with many young people using knifes and guns to resolve conflicts. This year alone there has been over 30 murders in and around London. Parents are concerned that there is not enough being done to protect their children from the threat of violent crime.

What is more worrying is the notion that there is a generation of young people living and existing in fear. A generation of young people that have a common aspiration to survive. This seriously undermines the supposition that our youth are the future.

An entire generation of young people heading into adulthood suffering emotional trauma from losing a friend or being subjected to violence.

Violence in our society is not a recent epidemic, violence has been underpinning our society way back into the dark ages. The irony now is that with the use of media and news, we see it normalised on a daily basis. each and every time we turn on our device, we are privy to graphic images and information that illustrates that darkness of this modern society. The fact is we all feel a little bit violent from time to time, most of us have values and a core belief system that enable us to make different decisions. Young people can lack this understanding as many of them that are involved in violent crime have very little value for life.

For us as parents, carers or professionals, the massive task of supporting these young people is where we should be directing our focus. We need to understand the emotional needs of young people affected by violence or abuse.

In 2018 there were more than 40,000 recorded incidents involving a sharp weapon. An overall increase on the year before. With many young people fearing reprisals, they feel that they must protect themselves from the overall threat of violence. This can often fuel the rise in violent crime, as this demonstrates that the increase in young people carrying a knife may in fact be put down to the presupposition of being attacked by someone carrying another knife or weapon.

Although we cannot turn a blind eye to some of the seemingly random attacks, we must focus on why the need to carry and use a knife or pointed weapon has increased.

The average prison sentence for carrying a knife or pointed weapon is up to 4 years in prison. It is significantly increased if the weapon is used to threaten or inflict violence against another individual. 

Preventing gang and youth violence: Spotting and supporting young people