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Children, violence and vulnerability 2022
Our nationally representative survey found that:
- 14% of teenage children had been a victim of violence in the last 12 months
- 39% of teens had been a victim or witness of violence in the last 12 months
- 55% of teens said they’d seen real life acts of violence on social media in the last 12 months. 24% said they’d seen children carrying, promoting, or using weapons.
- 65% of teens said they’d changed their behaviour to keep themselves safe from violence in the last 12 months. 14% had been absent from school out of fear. A further 14% said it caused them to lose concentration, because of worry. 16% avoided going to a social event. And 2% even said that their fear had led to them carrying a weapon.
- 26% want to see changes to policing (such as more patrols) to address violence, alongside more youth clubs and activities (15%) and drug and alcohol services (10%).
Our review of national statistics shows that:
- Violence was down in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic. 0-17 knife related hospital admissions fell 7% between 2018/19 and 2019/20.
- During the pandemic, violence fell; robberies decreased by 34%, homicides by 20% and 0-17 hospital knife related hospital admissions by 14% between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
- As restrictions eased, some forms of violence have returned to pre-pandemic rates while others haven’t. Robberies remain 27% below the rate in 2019/20 but homicides of 13-17-year-olds in London are higher in 2021 than in 2019.
- Black children are increasingly overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Black children make up 4% of 10–17-year-olds, 15% of arrests, 18% of children stopped and searched and 29% of children in custody – up from 17% in 2011/12.