More Policing is not the answer
The Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill will not deliver the safer streets we all want to see
Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd was right when she said that there is no correlation between police numbers and levels of violent crime, and she had the graphs to prove it. The same is true of more police powers.
The Bill sets out laudable aims of making communities safer for all, but sadly stigmatises the very groups – young people, ethnic minorities and families living in areas of social deprivation, where crime is high.
This is happening at a time when these groups are also being hit hardest by the impact of Covid-19. Many have lost their jobs and have struggled with their mental health. The last thing young people need is to also live in the constant fear of being targeted, stopped and searched by the police.
Recent events have brought back to the public consciousness just how important it is to feel safe on our streets. A knee jerk response of more police or more police powers is not going to achieve this. By the time the police are involved it is often too late. And what is left is young people and their communities feeling even more oppressed and let down.
Government needs to support approaches that work. Young people need safe space where we can help them to overcome their fears and achieve their potential. In Leap’s experience, we know that this model is successful if helping young people become great citizens and role models for other young people.
We achieve this by ensuring that young people have dependable, trusted and skilled adults in their lives. These adults can guide young people particularly those who face challenges today and traumas in the past.
It means working hard to keep young people in mainstream schools. It means giving foster carers and Care Home Support Workers the support, skills and status that they deserve. It means giving young people a voice in how their local communities are made safer. It means giving them support and encouragement to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into thriving community businesses.
Young people have sacrificed a lot in the last year. We owe it to them to invest in their futures. The safety and prosperity of all of us depend on it.