Children and young people have their say on gun and knife crime in new report by 11 Million

11 Million have published a new report and film showing the views of children and young people on gun and knife crime.

The report, Standing Together, explores how gun and knife crime is affecting children and young people in England and sets out 10 key principles on improving children and young people’s safety and reducing their risk of offending. 11 Million chose gun and knife crime as their main project for 2008-09 after it was selected as a top priority for the organisation by children and young people.  The film, which was produced with the Media Trust, features children and young people who worked on the Gun and Knife Crime project.

The report follows work with approximately 100 children and young people aged 8 to 17 over one year in London, Leicester, Merseyside, Birmingham and Manchester. The children and young people involved in the project were from communities that had been particularly affected by gun and knife crime.  A survey of over 1,700 children and young people aged 8 to 17 years old was also carried out.

The key principles outlined in the report include understanding the causes of offending by undertaking qualitative research with young offenders to improve risk assessment and inform the design and delivery of services, parenting support for families and education about the risks and consequences of carrying weapons, the need for multi-agency and locally based interventions and support for victims of gun and knife crime and for relatives and friends of victims, penalties and sentences for gun and knife offences are designed to reduce offending and re-offending and the need for high quality research and assessment to develop policy and the implementation of practice in this area.

Other key areas highlighted in the report include the need for good relations between young people and the police, as it is likely that young people will be less inclined to feel the need to carry weapons to stay safe and be more likely to share information with the police. The report also looks at children and young people’s fear of gun and knife crime as a major reason why some children and young people carry weapons and argues that the media should treat the issue proportionately. A 17 old male from Manchester who worked on the project with 11 Million said, “It’s like a chain reaction. More people carry knives because they’re frightened thinking that lots of other people are carrying them.”

The report is available to download from the 11 Million website. The film can be viewed on the 11 Million and Media Trust websites.

Participation Works is a partnership of…
British Youth CouncilChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandKIDSNational Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesNational Youth Agency

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