Serious youth violence, including knife crime, is a significant issue in London at the moment and a priority area of work for children’s services. The capital is currently experiencing a spike in knife and gun crime related incidents and an increase in the severity of crimes, with a number resulting in deaths over the last few months.
The Association of London Directors of Children’s Services (ALDCS) is committed to further understanding both the causes of serious youth violence, and how to best respond to prevent incidents and intervene when they do happen.
ALDCS hosted a seminar in March 2018, focussing on the response of children’s services to serious youth violence, including knife crime. The seminar sought to give practice leaders – predominantly in social work, youth work, and youth offending – an opportunity to share their current practice approaches and to consider how London borough children’s services can work more effectively with one another and with partners across the capital to tackle this issue. The seminar also brought together representatives from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Ofsted, and the voluntary sector.
In May 2018, ALDCS published a report in May 2018, summarising key current and emerging practice, challenges, priorities and opportunities for children’s services in responding to serious youth violence across London. The report sets out a range of areas of positive and innovative practice across London, while emphasising the need for a hyper-local approach, and also presents several opportunities for further work and collaboration across agencies.