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Serious youth violence rates in London jump by 20 per cent in four years

PUBLISHED: 16:12 21 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:12 21 September 2016

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Half of all reports in the capital involve a knife

More people are falling victim to ‘serious youth violence’ compared to previous years, a new report has claimed.

Since 2012-2013, the number of victims has risen by 20 per cent across London.

The figure comes from a new report published by the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee.

The reports has assessed the reasons behind the rise in youth violence.

Less than five per cent of offences were related to gangs, the report states.

“Stigmatising young people with the ‘gang member’ label is neither helpful, nor accurate” said Steve O’Connell, chairman of the committee.

A spokesperson from the London Assembly said: “The report found that a dominant driver for the increase, particularly of knife crime, is the belief among young people that they need to be prepared to defend themselves.

“This is driven by a misconception of the volume of weapons on the streets, as well as fear fuelled by incidents that occur in their communities.”

Police are urged to reassure young people they are safe following serious incidents, the report claims.

Almost a quarter of the victims are young women.

Mr O’Connell, said: “We found that fear of violence is fuelling violence, and this is particularly the case with knife crime.

This report summarises our initial findings and the Committee will revisit the issue as part of our ongoing work to find out what progress has been made and what more needs to be done to support London’s young people.”

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