Mental health and knife crime biggest threats to children in next decade – Barnardo’s survey
Knife crime, mental health problems and dangers online will be the biggest threats to children’s safety in the coming decade, a survey suggests.
The concerns are among the top five that adults fear could affect children in the UK in the years to 2030, according to a YouGov poll carried out for the charity Barnardo’s.
Some 2,063 UK adults were asked for their thoughts and 71% responded saying their top concern was risks online – such as grooming, cyber-bullying and self-harm forums.
The survey indicated 68% thought mental health problems – particularly suicide, worries about body image and eating disorders – were the next biggest concern, while more than half of respondents (54%) raised knife crime and serious violence.
Criminal gangs, including county lines drugs networks and those which carry out sexual exploitation, were also a high threat, according to 49% of those who took part.
Barnardo’s has called on the Government to introduce tough regulations online, as well as extra funding for mental health care and youth services to address violence.
The charity’s chief executive, Javed Khan (pictured), said: “These findings reflect what we are seeing in our 1,000-plus frontline services – the risks to children in the UK are becoming increasingly complex and require an urgent response.
“The good news is that these challenges can be addressed.
“The new Government has a unique opportunity to pass world-leading legislation to keep children safe online, and to invest in young people’s mental as well as physical health.
“It must also work with the police, NHS, schools, charities and others to tackle the ‘poverty of hope’ at the root of the youth violence epidemic.”
Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2020, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Barnardo’s.