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Schools will have a 'statutory duty' to tackle gangs

Home secretary also pledges £200 million to target young people at risk of being drawn into drug gangs

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Home secretary also pledges £200 million to target young people at risk of being drawn into drug gangs

The home secretary Sajid Javid has vowed to make it a statutory duty for schools and other public agencies to tackle rising gang violence on city streets.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday, he also pledged £200 million to target young people at risk of being drawn into criminal gangs and drug dealing.  

“The rise in serious violence in London and our cities is especially worrying,” Mr Javid told the crowd in Birmingham.

“We will take steps to introduce a statutory duty for all agencies to tackle this problem together. That means those in health, education, social services, local government, housing," he added, without giving further details.

“I’m also pleased to announce today a new £200 million endowment fund that will target young people at risk of starting a life of crime and violence.”

Concerns have been mounting about rising rates of violent gang crime in the UK.

Police statistics from 2017 showed that while overall crime rates dropped in England and Wales, knife crimes rose 22 per cent from the previous year to the highest level since 2010.

Gun crime had also increased 11 per cent, compared with 2016, figures from the Office of National Statistics showed.

Mr Javid blamed the rise in serious violence on the trade in illegal narcotics and pledged a major review of the market to “step up our fight against drugs gangs that prey on our children”

The home secretary also vowed to clamp down on online paedophiles and child-trafficking gangs, like those that have been unearthed in Rochdale and Oxford in recent years.

“The scandal of child grooming gangs is one of the most shocking state failures that I can remember,” he said.

“It is a statement of fact – a fact which both saddens and angers me – that most of the men in recent high-profile gang convictions have had Pakistani heritage.

“I will not let cultural or political sensitivities get in the way of understanding the problem and doing something about it.”

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