SHADOW Home Secretary Yvette Cooper today promised a £100m "tough love" fund to keep kids off the streets and deter them from gangster lifestyles.
In a speech at Labour conference in Liverpool, Ms Cooper promised to open 92 youth hubs stocked with mental health support staff and neighbourhood cops.
The youth workers will help lost and vulnerable teens at risk of joining drug gangs.
Ms Cooper told hundreds of delegates that her "young futures programme" will "support teenagers and families at a tough time in their lives".
According to the think tank Crest, 200,000 kids are currently vulnerable to serious violence.
And last year saw the highest number of people killed with a knife for over 70 years, with the biggest increase being amongst male youngsters aged 16-17.
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Ms Cooper said: “Young people have been totally let down by this Tory Government, who have failed to recognise the growing vulnerability of many teenagers – be it because of the rise of county lines gangs, impact of damaging content on social media or the pandemic.
“We need urgent interventions to stop young people getting drawn into crime or exploitation in the first place."
The Shadow Home Secretary added: "For too long, teenagers have been pushed from pillar to post between local authorities, mental health services, the police and youth offending teams.
"That’s why we are setting up a cross-Government ‘tough love’ initiative, with new youth hubs and proper local plans to identify those most at risk and help them access the support they need."
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The Young Futures Programme and youth hubs will be developed in coordination with local council chiefs and youth mental health experts.
The primary focus of the programme will be knife crime but will eventually into other areas including education and careers.
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