Gangs and youth violence have been a blight on our communities for years. The disorder in August was not caused solely by gangs but the violence we saw on our streets revealed all too vividly the problems that sometimes lie below the surface and out of sight.
Over the years, successive Government interventions, initiatives and funds have failed to work. A concerted, long-term effort is now needed.
Since August, a group of senior ministers – led by the Home Secretary, working closely with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions – has undertaken a thorough review of the problem of gang and youth violence. They have visited a range of projects working to stop youth violence; heard from international experts about what works in the United States and elsewhere; consulted with senior police officers and local authority officials; and talked to young people themselves. Several key messages have emerged:
First, the vast majority of young people are not involved