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, 12:29 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 5:06 pm
The number of youth clubs has declined in recent years. Picture: Marie Caley

Kimberley Butterley, from Woodhouse Mill, 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.

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“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. 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.

Coun Jim Steinke, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety at Sheffield Council, said youth clubs were in decline but sporting groups might be more effective at preventing 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 is cracking down on knives with a citywide project called Operation Sceptre.

Visit you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/bring-back-youth-clubs to see the petition.