Primary school children should be given plenty of things to do to prevent youth violence, according to a council report.

Harrow Council’s overview and scrutiny committee found that targeting children at primary school reduces the likelihood of them getting involved in crime.

Cllr Janet Mote, chairman of the review, explained this covers several areas including schools, police programmes and voluntary organisations.

She said: “We need to target primary schools as, sometimes, young people feel as if they do not have anyone to talk to – whether that’s their parents or their teachers.

“They will have choices, and they will either make a good choice or a bad choice – we should be there to guide them on the right path.”

She explained she was “amazed” to see the amount of good work in Harrow, but activities need to be more widely advertised to those who will benefit from them.

“There are so many dedicated people who are working to make a big difference to the lives of young people,” Cllr Mote said.

“Yet one thing that a lot of young people said was that they wanted something to do.

“Some groups did boxing, others did football, but, for those who do not get involved in something, they are at risk of just drifting.”

As well as taking on structured activities, the committee noted that it is vital that primary school students are educated on the dangers of drugs, violence and crime.

Cllr Mote said she is in favour of the police having dedicated police officers to go into schools to relay this message, which would also go some way to “reverse the negative image of police” among some young people.

The report also detailed the issue of funding which could have an impact on young people.

For example, the ‘Junior Citizen’ programme – which gives safety tips to young people – is being revived but, in Harrow, there is a £5,000 shortfall for supporting books.

Cllr Mote suggested the Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Board could try and find resources after Watford FC said it could not commit as a sponsor.

And the police cadet scheme at Nower Hill High School, which had 160 participants this year, is under threat. From the end of July, this programme will need £6,000 a year to continue.