Gangs & County Lines

Identifying and Disrupting County Lines to Prevent Child Exploitation

Figures from the National Crime Agency reveal that there are over 2,000 county lines across the UK. Detective Superintendent Andy O’Connor is the County Lines Lead for Merseyside Police discusses the importance of partnership working with partners and the public to break the cycle of recruitment into county lines and gang crime.

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The Latest Trends in Gang Culture and the Rise in Knives, Exploitation and Violence

In the year ending March 2022, there were 45,000 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in England and Wales. In this video, the Director of the National Centre for Gang Research discusses the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the behaviour of young people and the gaps in support which leave them vulnerable to exploitation.

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A Whole-System Approach to Diverting Young People from Crime and Refocusing their Identity

According to the Office for National Statistics, there has been a 10% increase in knife-enabled crime in the past year. In this video, Jonathan Toy, Service Manager for Community Safety discusses the whole system approach they have in place that works as a preventive programme to meet individual’s needs and tackle serious youth crimes.

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Preventing Child Exploitation Through Multi-Agency Working

There were 10,140 instances of Child Exploitation recorded as a factor at the end of a children’s social care assessment. Suzanne Taylor, Assistant Director of Impact, Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation at Barnardo’s discusses the links between Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Criminal Exploitation, highlighting the importance of multi-agency working to combat these harms.

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Tackling Knife Crime Through Early Interventions

In the year ending March 2022, police recorded around 45,000 offences involving a knife or sharp object in England and Wales. Superintendent Adam Ward, Knife Crime Lead at Northamptonshire Police shares how they have reduced knife crime through partnership working and early intervention.

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Engaging with Young People and Supporting them to Exit Gangs

According to an investigation conducted by the Children’s Commissioner, 27,000 children in the UK at risk of gang exploitation and have not been identified by formal services. Francis Osei-Appiah, Founder and CEO of Reform Restore Respect shares some of the indicators of criminal exploitation and how services need to create a more joined up approach to help youth exit gangs.

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Implementing a Community-based Rehabilitation Programme for Gang-affiliated People

Between 2020 and 2021, 12,720 children in England were identified as being at risk of criminal exploitation by gangs. Dr Suchi Bhandri, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust shares how a multi-agency approach has supported youths who are affiliated with gangs, rehabilitating them away from involvement in crime.

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Reducing the Barriers to Belief in Child Sexual Exploitation Cases

15% of girls and 5% of boys in the UK are estimated to have been sexually abused before the age of 16. In this video, Mike Sheath, Manager of the Lucy Faithfull foundation shares some of the signs of child sexual exploitation and how services can better support victims.

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Training Front-Line Staff to Improve Understanding of Child Criminal Exploitation

Almost 10,000 children were arrested for drug or weapon offences between 2019 and 2020, 15% of these children were first-time offenders aged 10-14. In this video, Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire police share how they have equipped staff to work in partnership between services, safeguarding children and preventing child criminal exploitation in a local and regional capacity.

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Developing an Integrated Team Response to Prevent Child Criminal Exploitation

4,000 teenagers are being exploited criminally in London alone. In this video, Curtis Ashton, Acting Director at Young Islington shares how understanding the pyramid of gang crime involvement aids the development of a multi-agency approach to prevent child criminal exploitation.

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Understanding New Methods of Child Criminal Exploitation

There were 12,720 children identified by social services as being at risk of child criminal exploitation by gangs between March 2021-2022. In this video, Abbee McLatchie, Director of Youth Work at the National Youth Agency discusses some of the challenges young people face which make them vulnerable to criminal exploitation and how services can better engage with them to provide support.

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Gangs and County Lines: An Overview

County lines is a form of criminal exploitation in which criminals groom and manipulate children into drug dealing. Many young people end up involved in violent crime as a result. This infographic gives an overview of the current statistics around county lines, gang involvement and violent crime in the UK.

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