A borough-wide report into youth violence is calling for early intervention, a halt to cuts and the prevention of school exclusions.

The report, commissioned by campaign group Waltham Forest Citizens and led by the head teacher of Leyton Sixth Form College, was launched on Friday at Waltham Forest town hall with more than 100 people in attendance.

Cabinet members for children and young people, Cllr Grace Williams, and community safety, Cllr Ahsan Khan, gave speeches.

The document, produced through talks with more than 1,200 young people, schools and youth service providers throughout the borough, calls for more youth workers to be made available to help troubled children.

The commission says there is an urgent need to reverse cuts to youth services, provide greater support for children who have had adverse experiences early in life and to intervene early to prevent school exclusions.

One finding of the report is that funding cuts to schools, youth clubs and council funding for children’s services is “costing lives.”

Kamahl Sami–Miller, a 22-year-old member of Waltham Forest’s Youth Independent Advisory Group which helped with the report, said: “I could tell you many stories.

“The first time I saw a stabbing was a family friend; at the time he only was 13, I was 10. The stabbings turned him into a vegetable and after a few days the machine had to be turned off. Instead of waiting for these young people to commit a crime or worse, prevent it.

“Send them to interventions, offer counselling. Never forget prevention is better than cure.”

Waltham Forest Citizens is already acting on some of its own suggestions and is increasing the availability of mentoring opportunities, encouraging greater youth dialogue with the police and offering work experience placements through local businesses and charities.

Leyton Sixth Form head Gill Burbridge, who led the creation of the report, said: “Schools and colleges have a duty to protect students and staff from risks posed by other students. However, the consequences of excluding vulnerable students must also be considered.

“Young people who have direct experience of being excluded are often made more vulnerable and therefore more susceptible to being drawn into further, harmful behaviours.

“A specific proposal of this commission is to urgently find the funds to shore up the loss of Youth Services across the capital, with a pilot of a dedicated youth support worker able to help keep children safe and in education.”