Councils warn against cuts to youth offending teams as knife crime 'national emergency' comes under spotlight

Councils have warned the Government against making further funding cuts to youth offending teams as knife crime continues to come under the spotlight. Efforts to stop children joining gangs and becoming involved in violent crime will be "undermined" if funding to tackle youth offending is cut further, the Local Government Association (LGA) said. Figures show that youth justice grants, which fund the work of youth offending teams within councils, have been halved from £145 million in 2010/11 to £71.5 million in 2018/19, the LGA added. The warning comes amid a string of high-profile stabbings across the country which have led to the issue being described as a "national emergency". The LGA said councils were waiting to find out how much funding they would receive for 2019/20, but said "at the very least" it should match last year's amount following the recent surge in knife crime. Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, chairwoman of the LGA's children and young people board, said: "The recent spate of tragic violence across the country underlines the importance of investing in services which protect and support young people, keeping them safe from the lure of gangs or from becoming involved in serious crime.
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