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Source: London Assembly

Dear Editor,

 

The widespread rollout of early intervention initiatives across the capital is key to our efforts to end the surge in serious youth violence.

 

The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has been set up at City Hall to help deliver a public health approach to the issue, and recognises the importance of reaching out to the most vulnerable young Londoners before they fall into the grip of gang activity and exploitation.

 

Our education system also has a central role to play in tackling violent crime. Accordingly, the Mayor has recently announced an extra £4.7 million of funding through the VRU directed at reducing school exclusions, improving after-school provision and giving support to pupils struggling with the transition between primary and secondary school.

 

Whilst it is clear that having a strong police presence on our streets is vital for ensuring robust enforcement, it is also essential to put in place preventative measures and safeguards for the most at-risk children.

 

The Government should bolster the efforts that City Hall is making in each of these areas by reversing the significant cuts it has made to youth services and the Met Police and reconsidering welfare reforms that have pushed many children into poverty and precarious circumstances.

 

Yours,

 

Dr Onkar Sahota AM

London Assembly Member for Ealing and Hillingdon

MIL OSI United Kingdom