· Features

Hot topic: Preventing knife crime, part two

In April the Office for National Statistics revealed that knife crime hit its highest level since records began in 2011

Many have called for a boost in youth-focused initiatives, alongside increased government funding. But can employers also help by creating more opportunities for young people? And where should they start?

Natasha Adams, chief people officer at Tesco, says:

"We know that good work is absolutely integral to helping people and communities. Research has repeatedly shown that strong employment opportunities in communities can play a vital role in helping to reduce crime rates, through helping to provide structure, support and connections.

"At Tesco we are committed to ensuring young people are given the opportunities, tools, support and confidence to succeed in their future careers. We want them to experience a diverse, exciting and rewarding environment. So we offer the chance for employees to gain a transferable qualification while they work, no matter what their background.

"We’re extremely proud to be one of the employers working on this. It is vital in cultivating and nurturing young talent who might otherwise feel excluded from the workforce."

Sajda Mughal, director of JAN Trust, says:

"Knife crime is an issue that hits BAME communities the hardest. Turning a blind eye to
the suffering of ethnic minority communities is unacceptable and the inadequate response to violent crime so far reflects a deep-rooted racism within this country.

"It is time to enact meaningful change to prevent this violence – not only does the government need to tackle this issue head on, but it is also important to work with and educate the marginalised BAME families who are most likely to be affected. Raising awareness about knife and gun crime alongside gang-related crime and the signs of gang membership within hard-to-reach communities is imperative.

"If employers can reach out to people and offer their time, skills and training they could play a key role in helping them to thrive."

Read the first part of this hot topic

This piece appears in the November 2019 print issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk