Young people are at higher risk of experiencing violent crime from a stranger than any other social group. According the Office of National Statistics, those aged between 15 and 29 made up 61% of seriously or fatally injured firearm victims in the UK between 2013 and 2014. Furthermore, their research showed that those aged 16 to 24 were more likely to be a victim of violence than an older age group, with males aged 16 to 24 most at risk of violent offences by strangers. The exception is sexual violence, where young women aged between 16 and 24 are more likely than other age groups to be victims of sexual abuse and stalking.


Our initial consultations with young people shows that there is a considerable level of fear among young people – and also some misconceptions which need to be challenged.


  • 28% said they felt unsafe or very unsafe when walking the streets of their local area.
  • 69% said they felt unsafe or very unsafe when walking the streets in a new area.
  • 79% said they thought young women were more at risk of violence from a stranger (when in fact young men are).


Young people are also facing an increasingly diverse set of risks. Those we consulted identified three key areas in which they felt unsafe: on the streets; at school or college; and online. Issues such as revenge porn, sexting, bullying and hate crime are all raised by young people as concerns.


We are working to address these issues through a number of projects, including our peer education programme ‘PLAN’.