“Enough is enough.” That was the view from UNISON’s local government conference today, as debates opened with a focus on the link between knife crime and cuts to youth services.
Moving the motion for the national Black members’ committee, Ash Dhobie highlighted the rise in knife offences.
“Since the beginning of January 2018, police have recorded 39,332 knife offences.”
But as conference heard, “the authorities have not done enough to educate young people,” while cuts to youth services – and policing – have had a massive and detrimental impact. There are “too many areas where there are no youth clubs or community centres”.
UNISON’s own research has revealed that, by 2016, £387m had been cut from youth services, with the loss of more than 3,600 jobs and 600 youth centres.
Conference agreed that “the causes of youth violence are complex” and also welcomed Labour’s commitment to reverse cuts to youth services and education, ban zero-hours contracts and restore the educational maintenance allowance when in government, as important ways to “create positive opportunities” that will help to cut knife crime.