‘Keeping children in full-time education until the age of 18 is contributing to rising crime figures, according to a police chief.
Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Dave Thompson, believes there may be a link between raising the age children are allowed to leave school and the recent surge in violent crime.
He has asked Ofsted to look into sixth form colleges which run courses that don’t have enough contact hours – leaving teenagers to roam the streets in their free time.In 2008 it was made illegal to leave education or training before the age of 18 without undertaking an apprenticeship.
The changes didn’t come into effect until 2015 and it was the first time the law in that area had changed since 1972.
The number of homicides among 16 to 24-year-olds has risen by 75 per cent since 2015, from 87 in a year to 152.
Arrests for the possession of weapons have gone up by 28 per cent since 2015 in children aged 10-17 and 18-20, according to Home Office data seen by The Telegraph.
Mr Thompson told The Telegraph: ‘Let’s be really honest, the neighbourhoods where the violence happens and the young people affected are most likely to be in deprived areas. Many of those people do not have the qualifications to necessarily be securing some of the better apprenticeships.’
He believes that because young people don’t enter the workplace until they’re 18, they aren’t maturing fast enough – especially young men.’