The Government should introduce a “red book” for parents of teenagers to stem the tide of knife crime and gangs, the head of the UK’s oldest children’s charity has said.
Many parents are ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of adolescence and do not understand the importance of setting rules and boundaries, according to Dr Carol Homden, chief executive of Coram.
Teenagers are more vulnerable to being groomed by gangs if they come from unstable home environments and are left “searching for attention and belonging”, Dr Homden said.
Earlier this month, the Home Secretary announced a series of new measures designed to crack down on violent crime.
Under a statutory “public health duty”, police, hospitals, schools and other public bodies would be required to report those at risk of being drawn into knife crime.
Staff would have to alert other agencies if they thought a young person was in danger – such as turning up at A&E with a suspicious injury, absenteeism or worrying behaviour at school or problems at home.
But as well as empowering various public agencies to combat knife crime, ministers should also give better guidance and advice for parents, Dr Homden said.
“As a parent, we all love our red book for infants,” she told The Telegraph.