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  • Sara Chitseko

Police report finds prison increases knife-crime reoffending among young people

A new report by the College of Policing has found that prison significantly increases the likelihood of knife-crime reoffending among young people (McNeill and Wheller, 2019). It claimed that non-custodial sanctions, such as community supervision with victim reparations and community surveillance and aftercare were proven to be far more effective than prison, for young people aged 10-18 years old (ibid).

This highlights the need for policy to enable the resourcing for capacity building community based organisations that are supporting young people on the ground. These are the organisations that are  already embedded within the communities where violence is taking place. They are consistently present and in the best position to offer support.

Furthermore, there is also trust and credibility between young people and community organisations that statutory organisations do not have with these marginalised young people. By equipping grassroots groups with additional resources to offer emergency mental health first aid and emotional support services, they are in the best position to have impact.


Dodd, V. (2019). Prison increases youth knife-crime reoffending, says police report. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/27/prison-increases-youth-knife-crime-reoffending-says-police-report [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].

McNeill, A. and Wheller, L. (2019). Knife Crime Evidence Briefing. [online] Whatworks.college.police.uk. Available at: https://whatworks.college.police.uk/Research/Documents/Knife_Crime_Evidence_Briefing.pdf [Accessed 29 Apr. 2019].