Senior politicians must do more to tackle youth violence amid worrying trends surrounding knife crime, according to a Harrow councillor.

Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick criticised the Government over cuts to youth offending teams, suggesting that it has failed to support those who need such resources.

According to statistics obtained by the Labour Party, youth offending team funding for Harrow has dropped by more than £400,000 since 2010.

At a national level, funding has been cut from £145 million in 2010/11 to £71 million in 2017/18.

“People in Harrow are concerned at the increase in knife crime and rightly feel let down by the government’s failure to provide the resources to deal with this issue,” Cllr Fitzpatrick said.

Youth offending teams across the country work with young people who have been in trouble with the law.

They can help young people stay away from crime through prevention programmes, support those who have been arrested or are in court and stay in touch with those serving custodial sentences.

Thomas O’Hare, leader of Harrow Youth Parliament, said these resources can be vital and described the level of cuts as “unacceptable”.

He said: “The young people who these cuts affect become adults, and every week youth parliament members share clubs and classes with young offenders at a stage where funding can make all the difference.”

The Government believes its system is working and that it will continue to support young people to help them steer clear of crime.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said: “The number of children entering the criminal justice system for the first time has reduced 85 per cent over the last decade and continues to fall.

“For the last three years we have given the Youth Justice Board more than £70 million to allow local authorities to provide the best possible services for children and help them turn their backs on crime.”