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Day Time Show

With Mark Dover

OPINION: Invest in our youth or be responsible for their deaths

So here we are again.

Another young person has died in a violent attack on the streets of London, this time a teenage boy was stabbed to death in Collier Row.

We are falling into a routine whereby we find out about another senseless killing, we rant and we moan and then we move onto the next one.

So far in 2018, three people have been killed each week on average on the streets of London.

78 murder investigations have been launched by the Met Police and many of those have been into the deaths of young people.

And each time that has happened people on social media are quick to point their fingers to apportion blame.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is to blame, some say. Others think the Conservative Government. Many suggest that we live in a world so “politically correct” that we’re unable to take steps necessary to reduce the violence.

But all of this talk distracts from what I see as the real problem.

In 2011, £91.5 billion was spent on education in the UK.

By 2017, that figure had dropped slightly to around £85 billion.

But that doesn’t take into account the growing number of young people in our schools.

Once you factor that in, spending on education has fallen by around 8% and it’s those at the bottom of the classes who are hit the hardest.

Add to that the lack of youth services these days and it’s obvious to see why young people are falling into crime.

Many comments I see online are from people who want more police on the streets and tougher sentences for those found guilty of serious crime.

But prison doesn’t offer the necessary levels of rehabilitation to be effective and, with the prison system in England stretched enough as it is, it is very costly for something that barely works.

We could put more money into the police but they aren’t psychics; they can’t just predict every time there will be a stabbing and turn up to prevent it.

More bobbies on the beat could act as a deterrent but I truly believe money spent on educations and services for young people would be more beneficial in the long-term.

I understand that we are in a period of austerity and all kinds of public services have seen cuts in the last eight years.

But the staggering number of deaths that we have seen in London in the past six months suggests that the Government has only one option: invest in our youth or be responsible for their deaths.

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