Unison has called for multi-agency teams to be set up to tackle the root causes of gun and knife crime among young people.
Delegates at the union’s national conference in Bournemouth said that local forums including local authorities, trade union branches and the police should be set up to raise awareness of the issue.
Unison also want to see forums address the reasons behind the number of young people joining gangs, such as low educational attainment, unemployment and drugs.
It urged the government to create “dependable support networks” to help any young person wanting to leave a gang and to provide vulnerable young people with the opportunity to talk with key workers about their problems.
Speaking at the conference, North West Regional delegate Tony Caffrey said more funding was needed for youth services.
He added: “Demands for greater punishment or more draconian legislation is not the answer. It’s increasingly clear that such approaches hold little deterrent value to our young people and that alternative solutions must be adopted if we are to make our communities safer, and offer hope of an alternative to our young people caught up in violent gang culture.”
Gun crime: Young people part of solution not problem, says NCH