Bishop of St Albans appeals for early intervention to prevent serious youth crime

Bishop St Albans June 2015On 3rd September 2019 Baroness Neville-Rolfe asked the Government “what steps they plan to take to support the Crown Prosecution Service in prosecuting, and the courts in sentencing, those involved in gang-related offences, illegal migration and petty offences”. The Bishop of St Albans asked a follow-up question:

Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I share with many others gratitude for what the Government are doing to have an integrated approach to serious violence and youth violence in particular, and I welcome having more police because we need to have safer streets. But by the time we get to prosecuting and sentencing it is all too late. Very often people have been left injured and dead. How much are we investing way before that, particularly at school level?

Will the noble and learned Lord say a little more about what support is being given to our schools? In particular, when, for example, children are found with knives, does this trigger a safeguarding response so that we are trying to deal with the causes, rather than just the results?

Lord Keen of Elie: My Lords, the right reverend Prelate makes a very good point. In July this year the Government announced their intention to bring forward legislation when parliamentary time allows for a new legal duty on public bodies to prevent and tackle serious violence—essentially what is referred to as a public health duty—that will cover the police, local councils, local health bodies, education, and youth offending services. Clearly, intervention at an early stage is the preferred approach.


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