Call for improvements to support to stop children committing violent crime

Guidance and support for vulnerable children in the community must to be improved in order for cases of young people committing violent crime to be avoided, it has been claimed.

The call comes after Lorraine Thorpe was given a life sentence for killing her father and a woman in separate incidents when she was just 15.

During the court case it emerged that Thorpe’s father was an alcoholic and the judge observed that the teenager was brought up with no real understanding of what is right and wrong.

Chris Callender, assistant director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Many of the clients we represent are in custody because they did not have the right support and guidance in the community.

“Children must be given the right support for their sake and for the sake of all of us.

“By ignoring the complex needs of vulnerable children in the community and hoping for the best we only compound their problems and make our communities less safe.

“Our children and young people deserve better so that they can improve themselves and their communities.”