Stephen Griffiths CYP youth worker was on BBC’s Newsnight today – in a Gavin Esler panel discussion about knife crime with Richard Thaler, author of Nudge and political flavour of the month, Karen Buck a relatively local MP and Chris Huhne of the LibDems. Stephen did a great job. The discussion overwhlemingly came down in favour of more things for young people to do. Richard Thaler endorsed Stephen’s work with CYP on sports and arts. If you want to donate to CYP to help them continue this work with local young people click
Stephen identified a fundamental lack of self worth amongst young people:
"We have an issue with education and the environment resulting in young people with low self esteem and self worth. If they have no worth in themselves and they have nothing…then they act in a certain way
Some young people get self worth from carrying knives.
"..amongst some young people you get a pat on the back for carrying a knife ‘well done’ ..really we need to be patting them on the back for the softer targets they achieve as adults."
"..we have to look closely at the young people in general. It is getting worse and worse. We need to look at young people in general, identify the issues and try to address them…..But it’s all part of a process, a programme a we need a lot more education a lot more programmes to enable young people to feel self worth."
Stop and search isn’t the only answer
"Stop and search needs to be part of the bigger picture. But it needs to be done in the right way. I come across a lot of animosity towards the police from young people. There is work to do to ensure that animosity is calmed down. Stop and search has to be done with respect and regard. It needs to be done the right way. The way it is done is vital. If someone is carrying a knife they shouldn’t have it and they should suffer the consequences. That brings you to the point where young people have to understand the consequences of their behaviour."
In response to Stephen, Richard Thaler author of Nudge said:
"We are talking about trying to create identities. If the knife is the identity we have already lost the game. The kind of thing Stephen is doing getting kids involved in sports and the arts can be a way of creating a new identity for the kid that can be more productive."
(I typed this from live – errors are mine)
UPDATE – on Tuesday 15 July the show is available online here – the studio discussion with Steve is 7 minutes in