05:49PM, Thursday 13 February 2020
A report investigating the knife crime ‘epidemic’ in the UK has been launched with the help of a teenager from Slough.
Susuana Senghor, 17, worked alongside fellow members of the Youth Select Committee to produce the document titled ‘Our Generation’s Epidemic: Knife Crime’.
The committee, a British Youth Council initiative which has 11 representatives aged 11 to 18, revealed its findings at a special House of Commons reception on Wednesday.
Inequality within communities across the UK was found to be a reason why some young people are vulnerable to the draw of violence and gangs.
The report recommended the government should halt its extension of stop and search powers until the disproportionate targeting of black men has been addressed.
It also said the government should consider whether short-term custodial sentences for youngsters who carry blades is an effective way of deterring them from involvement in knife crime.
Rachel Ojo, chair of the committee, said: “The Youth Select Committee is concerned with the government’s increasingly punitive approach to tackling knife crime.
“If the government wishes to confront the fundamental causes of the rise in violent crime among young people, it must do more to address and improve the difficult circumstances many young people are facing.”
The impact of knife crime has been felt in Slough over the past six months with two teenagers being killed in stabbings.
Elton Gashaj, 15, died following an incident at Salt Hill Skate Park on September 21 while Mohammed Ashraq, 18, was killed in a stabbing in Wexham on January 4.
The Youth Select Committee’s report was launched following a UK-wide ballot of 1.1 million people aged 11 to 18 in January in which young people declared knife crime their biggest concern.
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