Youth violence is a social emergency, requiring concerted efforts to address the root causes alongside effective policing

Priti Patel is being hailed as the “hardest line home secretary for years”. Her fan club expects a tough, criminal justice-led approach that will reclaim the Conservatives’ reputation as the party of law and order. If so, she will be the wrong home secretary to tackle the surge in youth violence.

The hard right are looking forward to a return to the tried-and-failed approach of searching, arresting and imprisoning our way out of trouble, but the evidence points to the need for prevention and early intervention by a range of state agencies.

Related: Action on rise in youth violence completely inadequate, say MPs

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