SCYJ response to Home Affairs Committee serious violence inquiry

The Home Affairs Select Committee has published SCYJ’s response to their serious violence inquiry, submitted in August 2018.

SCYJ welcomes the government’s commitment to tackling serious violence, and the strategy’s acknowledgment of the importance of early intervention and a whole-system approach. However, we have concerns that the proposals do not go far enough, and that the criminal justice measures risk increasing the number of children (under 18-years-old) in custody.

SCYJ is calling on the government to gather evidence on effective interventions and adopt a public health approach that sees resources directed towards preventative services that will have a long-term impact on violent crime.

Read our full response here.

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SCYJ response to consultation on stop and search powers

SCYJ has responded to a Home Office consultation on proposals to extend police ‘stop and search’ powers around corrosive substances, drones, and laser pointers. Our response focussed on corrosive substances.

We are concerned that the proposals create extremely broad ‘reasonable grounds’ for stop and searches in relation to suspected corrosive substance possession. The increase in largely untargeted stop and searches cannot be justified on the grounds of effectiveness, and will likely increase the level of harassment young black boys feel they face from police.

Read our full response here.

 

SCYJ Written Evidence Submission – Offensive Weapons Bill (2017-19)

SCYJ has submitted written evidence to the Public Bill Committee for the Offensive Weapons Bill (2017-19). The Bill creates a number of new laws around the possession and intended use of knives and corrosive substances.

SCYJ opposes measures in the Bill that will increase the use of mandatory minimum custodial sentences for children. This includes by creating an ill-defined and loose offence for possession of corrosive substances, and by substantially lowering the conviction threshold for the offence of threatening with a knife or offensive weapon.

SCYJ opposes mandatory custodial sentences  given that they remove judicial discretion, and there is no evidence that custodial sentences deter children, nor that they are rehabilitative or necessary for public protection.

Read our full submission here.