Youth Violence Commission
Following the murders of five young people in my constituency soon after I was elected in 2015, I called for a Commons debate on gangs and serious youth violence. The debate took place on 3rd March 2016 and was led by my colleague Chuka Umunna (MP for Streatham). The motion called for the House to establish an independent, cross-party commission to identify the root causes of and solutions to serious youth violence across the UK.
The debate lasted three hours and covered a wide range of issues, including links to the sale of illegal drugs, gang culture, the impact of knife crime on affected families and communities, the role of the media and the importance of considering poverty and deprivation in the context of serious youth violence.
You can read my contribution to the debate here.
About the Youth Violence Commission
Following the March 2016 debate I worked hard to establish the Youth Violence Commission. The commissioners – originally Chuka Umunna MP, James Cleverly MP, Mark Field MP, Greg Mulholland MP, Chris Stephens MP and myself – are a group of cross-party MPs who oversee and direct the work of the YVC.
However, the commission is much more than a parliamentary project: we are consulting with young people and working with academics and practitioners to better understand how serious violence manifests itself in many young people’s lives.
We have spent the last four years examining the root causes of youth violence in England, Scotland and Wales in our search for solutions. We held a series of evidence sessions in Parliament and worked with our academic partners (from Warwick University and the Open University) to produce an interim written report with policy recommendations in summer 2018.
This was followed by the publication of our final report in July 2020, which also considered the added pressures created by the COVID-19 crisis. You can watch the recording of the launch event below.
Follow @YouthViolenceUK on Twitter.
"It is only when we change the lives of the youngest in society that we will see real change take place." Vicky Foxcroft, speech to Parliament 03/03/16