Knife crime: Concerned mum launches petition to bring back youth clubs

A worried mother from Sheffield has launched a petition to fund more youth clubs to prevent knife crime.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 3:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 3:03 pm
The number of youth clubs has declined in recent years. Picture: Marie Caley

Kimberley Butterley, from Woodhouse Mill, started the petition after the recent spate of stabbings across the city. She said her main motivation was to protect her three young children.

She said: “All I see on the news these days is young teens being stabbed or going round stabbing people, it just made me think about when I was a young girl when we had youth clubs. What’s happened to them?

“Maybe if we had more youth clubs crimes like these wouldn’t happen. It would keep youngsters off the streets and give them something to do instead of going round committing these crimes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I have a son that will be starting secondary school this year and I hate to think that it’s just going to get worse as the years go by.

“Our children need things like this to be put in place , otherwise crime is just going to go up and up, children are our future and this I think could really help.”

It comes after a 15 year old boy was seriously injured after being stabbed earlier this week.

Councillor Jim Steinke, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety at Sheffield City Council, said youth clubs were on the decline but added sports clubs might be a better prevention of crime.

He said: “Youth clubs are really good but I think the same group of people who use them might not necessarily get into knife crime.

“But sports clubs, like the Unity Gym Project, have proven to be a really good diversion for young people likely to be involved in knife crime, as it teaches them discipline and respect. 

“The decline of youth clubs is something we want to chart better in Sheffield and look into more.”

South Yorkshire Police are currently cracking down on stabbings with a city-wide, multi-agency project called Operation Sceptre.

To sign the petition for more funding for youth clubs go to you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bring-back-youth-clubs