The Government has launched a public consultation into Serious Violence Reduction Orders, which will run until November 8th 2020.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:
“The Government is right to prioritise tackling violent crime, but we must also ensure vulnerable children are not criminalised. Serious Violence Reduction Orders should not therefore apply to under-18s.
“Many children Barnardo’s supports are coerced into committing crime and threatened with harm if they refuse. These children must be recognised as victims of exploitation, not as criminals.
“The best way to protect children from criminal activity and to tackle the ‘poverty of hope’ felt by so many, is to invest in vital services, including community policing, prevention and early intervention. Barnardo’s See, Hear, Respond programme, funded by the Department for Education and delivered by 80 local and national partners, is helping to identify ‘hidden’ children so they continue in education, stay safe from crime, and work towards a positive future.
“The Government has a vital opportunity with this year’s Comprehensive Spending Review to provide longer term funding for essential services, and to work in partnership with charities and local communities to help achieve better outcomes for more children."