Many councils do not recognise serious youth violence as a public health issue and are missing opportunities to prevent vulnerable children being exploited, the children’s commissioner has said.
Anne Longfield said teenagers will continue to die on England’s streets without a joined-up public health response to exploitation.
A lack of co-ordination between agencies is failing to prevent thousands of children from falling through gaps in the education, health, justice and care systems, she said.
The children’s commissioner’s office requested data from local authorities via their directors of public health for its latest report.
Some 91% of the 128 local authorities which responded were tracking some of the risk factors associated with gang involvement and serious violence.
But just one in four local authorities were tracking risks most closely associated with exploitation, such as school exclusion, being outside mainstream education, going missing, substance misuse, and living…