Holding Our Own: A guide to non-policing solutions to serious youth violence

Read and download our new report calling for a new approach to serious youth violence, including better funded youth services and a rolling back of police powers

Whatever our postcode or the colour of our skin, we all deserve to grow up in communities where we are cared for and given the tools we need to flourish in life.

But instead of investing in young people or providing support to deal with the causes of social problems, the government has given the police more powers to try and tackle the symptoms of these issues.

This has led to more and more people being treated unfairly by the police, rather than being given the help they need.

Our communities need investment, so that together we can create spaces and services that we know will give our young people the best chance in life.

And we need to roll back the powers of the police so no-one faces harsh and traumatising treatment at the hands of police.

That’s why a coalition including Liberty, have launched a groundbreaking report calling for a new approach to tackling serious youth violence, with the powers of the police rolled back and more funding and support given for young people to thrive.

Authored by nine organisations working across human rights, youth services, racial justice, mental health and policing, ‘Holding Our Own: A guide to non-policing solutions to serious youth violence’ provides a vital blueprint for how we can undo the harm currently being done to our communities, and instead build a society where all children are given the chance to thrive.

Three young black people standing next to each, one of them smiling at the camera, leaning on some railings with trees and a block of flats in the background

Together, we can end serious youth violence and stop the harm being done by policing.

Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty

Holding Our Own – Demands


  • End school exclusions and remove police from schools
  • End drugs policing
  • Dismantle harmful practices in traditional mental health systems
  • End cuts to youth services
  • End the practice of joint enterprise
  • End the practice of pre-crime policing
  • Make the Inquest system more truthful, just and accountable


  • Build an emancipatory education system based on care and support, not discipline and punishment
  • Decriminalise all drugs and reinvest resources in trauma services, mental health counselling and harm reduction services
  • Build new structures of care and support for people experiencing mental health crises
  • Invest in safe, healing-centred and racially literate spaces for young people
  • Develop community-based solutions to harm that allow young people’s friendships, communities and cultures to flourish
  • Invest in and mobilise the expertise and knowledge of our communities to create holistic public services
  • Move away from policing as a response to social problems

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