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Labour announces new ‘tough love’ plan to tackle knife crime | Politics News

Labour will introduce a national “tough love” youth programme to tackle knife crime and violence if it wins the next general election.

In her speech at Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper announced Young Futures – a new cross-government plan “aimed at giving Britain’s young people the best start in life”.

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This will draw on up to £100m a year from existing commitments relating to youth services, to “radically” reform how they are delivered.

Ms Cooper argued under the Tories, provisions for teenagers “have become badly fragmented and neglected”, with vulnerable young people “pushed from pillar to post” between local authorities, mental health services and police.

Labour’s plan aims to bring services together through a national network of Young Futures hubs, with targeted programmes in every area to identify those most at risk of being drawn into violent crime.

Youth workers will be placed in A&E units, custody centres and pupil referral units – and communities and resources would be made available so existing law enforcement measures can be better used to prevent crime.

The programme will be a key part of Labour’s mission to halve knife crime and youth violence in a decade.

In a speech reflective of Tony Blair’s “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” pledge ahead of the 1997 election, Ms Cooper said: “We need urgent interventions to stop young people getting drawn into crime or exploitation in the first place.

“For too long, teenagers have been pushed from pillar to post between local authorities, mental health services, the police and youth offending teams.

“That’s why we are setting up a cross-government ‘tough love’ initiative, with new youth hubs and proper local plans to identify those most at risk and help them access the support they need.”

She added: “And for those who repeatedly cause trouble in their community or are found carrying knives, there also need to be stronger interventions and clear consequences to stop their behaviour escalating and to keep other young people safe.

“A Labour government will give young people their future back.”

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