Colleagues from the Warwick Policy Lab, which is based at Warwick in London, are working with Members of Parliament, experts and practitioners on a cross-party parliamentary Commission on Youth Violence. The Commission was launched in 2017 to examine the root causes of youth violence in England, Scotland and Wales. It is chaired by Lewisham MP Vicky Foxcroft and other Commissioners include Chuka Umunna (Labour), Norman Lamb (Liberal Democrat) and James Cleverly (Conservative).
Professor Abhinay Muthoo and Siobhan Benita, co-Directors of the Policy Lab, are overseeing Warwick’s input, which establishes Warwick as the lead academic partner to the Commission. The work includes development and delivery of the first ever national survey of young people (aged 11 to 24) on the levels of violence that they experience in their day-to-day lives. The survey was conducted in February this year and received around 2000 responses, including from young people in young offender institutes and pupil referral units. Initial results from the survey will be shared with MPs and Peers in late spring and will also inform a major event in London’s City Hall in May, which will engage young people from across the capital.
The Commission is also conducting a series of evidence sessions in Parliament to gather testimony and insight from experts and young people directly affected by violence. These sessions are examining the way in which a range of issues - from childhood traumas, mental health, poverty and media influences – all impact on the types and levels of violence that many young people face today.
The Commission is committed to producing a final written report with policy recommendations that will address the serious youth violence issue. The report, which will be drafted by Warwick colleagues, will be shared with politicians at the Political Party Conferences in autumn this year and it is hoped that the recommendations will subsequently be included in party manifestos. More information about the Commission and its work can be found here http://yvcommission.com/
Professor Abhinay Muthoo said, “We are delighted to be supporting this Commission and to be conducting research on such an important issue that can have a devastating impact on too many young people and their families. By working closely with practitioners, politicians and young people themselves we hope to provide insights and analysis that will shape real solutions and influence policy decisions.”
If you would like to know more about this area of work and are interested in this field of research, please email Siobhan Benita on s dot benita at warwick dot ac dot uk