Labour plans youth hubs to help stop knife crime ‘that is killing our children’

Labour would set up 90 new youth hubs to give teenagers the “best start in life” and to “stop the knife crime that is killing our children”, Yvette Cooper has announced.

The shadow home secretary (pictured) outlined the plan, focused on the prevention of crime, in her speech to the Labour Party conference in Liverpool on Tuesday.

She said knife crime has gone up by 70% in eight years, but “far too little is done” and a “generation is being failed”.

In a deliberate echo of Tony Blair’s 1993 conference speech, she said: “Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime. We said it, we mean it, that means we have to act.

“Labour will bring in new laws to crack down on dangerous crime sales and to stop gangs exploiting children.”

On prevention, she added: “Today we are announcing a new 10-year programme from across government, bringing together services and communities to support our young people.

“Ninety new youth hubs, with both mental health workers and youth workers to tackle the crisis in youth mental health, to give teenagers the best start in life and to stop the knife crime that is killing our children.

“We did it in government before. That’s what Labour in government can do again.”

Under the cross-government proposals drawn up by Labour, the programme would be rolled out across the UK to identify vulnerable young people to stop them being pulled into a life of crime.

It will be developed with local government leaders, experts, and young people themselves, and local partnerships will be measured against a national outcomes framework to allow for local innovation in delivery.

The initial focus of the programme will be knife crime but once the programme is demonstrating results, Labour will look to expand the remit beyond youth violence and into other mission objectives such as educational attainment.

In her speech, Ms Cooper also announced plans to tackle the “epidemic of shoplifting and violence against shop workers”.

She said a law brought in by the Tories means shop thefts under £200 are not investigated, adding: “We will end the £200 rule to tackle the shoplifting gangs.

“Bring in respect orders to ban repeat offenders from town centres, and we will restore neighbourhood policing, 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs back in our streets.

“We will stand with Usdaw, the Co-op, Tesco, small convenience stores with a new law and tougher sentences for attacks on our shop workers, because everyone has the right to feel safe at work.”

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