UK Youth Parliament to campaign for action on knife crime

By Neil Puffett

| 12 November 2018

Members of the UK Youth Parliament have chosen to campaign on tackling knife crime and lowering the voting age to 16 in 2019.

Members of the UK Youth Parliament are set to launch the 2019 campaigns during their "day of action" in January. Picture: British Youth Council

The decision came following the UK Youth Parliament's 10th annual House of Commons debate chaired by the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow MP.

Knife crime was last month declared as the top concern of more than 1.1 million young people taking part in the Make Your Mark ballot. Votes at 16 was voted as a campaign priority for the third year in a row.

Imogen White, member of Youth Parliament for Essex, said: "Knife crime is the largest concern of young people across the UK. Young people shouldn't have to fear for their lives or feel they have to turn to violent weapons just to feel safe in their communities.
 
"The knife crime epidemic is crippling our nation and the government must do everything in their power to protect young people." 


Alex McDermott, member of Youth Parliament for Derbyshire who spoke on the issue of lowering the voting age, said: "Votes at 16 continues to be high on the agenda for young people.
 
"Young people have spoken out on this issue for long enough. It's time for the government to listen to young people and lower the voting age to 16".

Speaking at the debate John Bercow praised the role of youth workers in supporting the UK Youth Parliament.

"To all of the youth workers, both for what they have done in the run up to today, and will do in the course of today, and for what they have done to nurture, encourage and facilitate your activities throughout the year - they are often unsung heroines and heroes - one thing we say too rarely and we ought to say more often, and costs nothing, is thank you," he said.
 


Members of the UK Youth Parliament are set to formally launch the campaigns during their "day of action" in January 2019.

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