We welcome the knife crime consultation announced today (18 July) and any measures which will help to address the tragic loss of life we have seen on London’s streets this year. Enforcement measures which restrict the sale and distribution of weapons certainly have a place as part of a wider solution. This is why we are pleased that non-legislative measures; such as those outlined in the campaign and community fund are also being proposed. This will help address causes as well as symptoms.
St Giles Trust believes that prevention and early intervention – such as that offered through our SOS+ Project which carries out work in schools – is vital to address some of the causes of knife crime. These are multi-faceted and complex. It requires someone with a real understanding of the issue and from a relevant background to talk to young people about them. That is why SOS uses specially trained ex-offenders who have direct experience of this lifestyle to debunk myths, highlight consequences and encourage young people to form healthy, positive relationships with their peers.
We warmly welcome the additional support for work in A&Es. St Giles Trust’s SOS Project works in partnership with Barts NHS Trust at the Royal London Hospital supporting young victims of serious youth violence. We know from this work that it is essential that these young victims are provided with the right help during their time in hospital, on discharge and in the period that follows to ensure they are in a situation which is safe and supported. This minimises the risk of them suffering reprisals and helps them to have a positive future to look forward to through the recovery process and beyond.