The Labour party conference has been buzzing with discussions on potential policies to address crime and support young people’s mental health. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper took the stage to emphasize the need for urgent interventions to prevent young individuals from being drawn into criminal activities or exploitation. Under a potential Labour government, a “tough love” youth program would be implemented, targeting knife crime and the mental health crisis among young people.
The proposed program, estimated to cost £100 million annually, would focus on identifying vulnerable young individuals and providing them with the necessary support to steer them away from a life of crime and violence. Labour’s plan also includes the establishment of “youth futures” hubs, akin to the successful Sure Start initiative, which would bring together services for at-risk youth. Additionally, youth workers would be placed in various settings to assist young individuals dealing with mental health issues or on the verge of engaging in criminal behavior.
Ms. Cooper highlighted the Conservative party’s failure to address the growing vulnerability of teenagers. She pointed out county lines drugs gangs, the impact of the Covid pandemic, and harmful content on social media as some of the challenges faced by young people today. To tackle these issues, Labour emphasizes the importance of local plans that can effectively identify those most at risk and provide them with the necessary support. Stronger interventions and consequences would also be implemented for young individuals repeatedly causing trouble or carrying knives to ensure the safety of other young people.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also addressed the conference, outlining the party’s plan to boost community safety and combat crime and anti-social behavior. As part of their strategy, Labour aims to recruit 13,000 neighborhood police and community support officers, guaranteeing patrols in town centers. This move is intended to provide a visible presence of law enforcement, enhancing community safety and reassurance.
The proposed policies put forward by Labour demonstrate a commitment to addressing the urgent issues of crime and mental health among young people. With a focus on prevention and support, the party aims to give young individuals a brighter future and create safer communities. As the conference continues, the discussions surrounding these policies are sure to shape the party’s approach to youth engagement and well-being in the coming years.