Lack of understanding of summer riot causes, London Assembly fears

Attempts to tackling youth violence following last summer’s riots has been marred by a lack of understanding about the causes, according to the London Assembly.

Some intervention programmes were slow to get going, says a report by the Assembly’s ‘Time for Action’ panel.

The report concludes that programmes such as rehabilitating offenders and mentoring need to understand the causes of serious youth violence better and that there is more the Mayor can do to commission research to support intervention.

The Assembly’s Joanne McCartney, who chaired the panel, said: “We are concerned at the lack of progress in meeting targets for mentoring.

“It couldn’t hurt if the Mayor’s Mentoring Champion knew what his role is—as he admits he doesn’t really know.”

There was “an incomplete understanding” of causes of serious youth violence which has held back any positive outcomes, the report stresses. Any commitment to more funding for such programmes must be based on “evidence of success rather than enthusiasm for it.”