Harsher prison sentences and increasing stop and search will not prevent youth knife crime, a report from young people suggests.

The Youth Select Committee report says it is “extremely concerned” over the government’s plans to focus on a law and order approach to the crisis.

It said the issue cannot be “remedied” by increased stop and search.

A government spokesperson said it was “taking urgent action to tackle the scourge of serious violence”.

The Youth Select Committee is a British Council initiative made up of eleven members aged 11-18 and focuses on issues most concerning to young people across the UK.

The committee’s report said the government was not “listening to young people” or addressing their “fear”.

The Youth Select Committee report says social factors such as poverty and inequality are the main causes of knife crime. It urges the government to create a plan with clear targets and deadlines aimed at tackling the injustices which make a young person more vulnerable to knife crime.

The government recently launched a £200m Youth Endowment Fund and a £22m Early Intervention Youth Fund, 10 year programmes aimed at steering young people away from becoming serious offenders.

But the report says these these two funds do not go far enough in providing the long-term security for youth services.

Committee chair Rachel Ojo said: “If the government wishes to confront the fundamental causes of the rise in violent crime amongst young people, it must do more to address and improve the difficult circumstances many young people are facing.”

The report’s recommendations include:

The issue of knife crime was referred to the Youth Select Committee following the UK-wide ballot in which 1.1 million young people declared knife crime their biggest concern.

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