The Home Office have published their strategy for responding to the recent increase in serious violence, knife and gun crime and homicide in England and Wales. Given that a high number of perpetrators are children and young people, a significant part of the strategy is directed at them.
- 3.6 Million pounds is being used to set up a new National County Lines Co-ordination Centre (NCLCC) which is going to help bring law enforcement agencies across the country together.
- The power for police forces to apply for a Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Order (DDTRO) to compel the relevant mobile phone operator/s to close down a particular phone number and/ or handset used for drug dealing is now available .
- The Government will support nationwide awareness raising about the threat of county lines targeted to young people via tailored communications materials including posters and online content from spring 2018.
- The Working Together to Safeguard Children and Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance will be updated to include the risks to children of harm associated with county lines.
- Additional support for young people at risk including £175,000 of funding to build upon Mentor UK’s ‘Unplugged’ feasibility study to deliver support to children in schools as well as excluded children in pupil referral units.
Early intervention and prevention
The Government plan to :
- Make available a £11 Million fund to which Police and Crime Commissioners with Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs), or similar equivalent local partnerships (including Serious and Organised Crime Partnerships), in England and Wales will be able to bid for funding for youth and community groups who support early intervention and prevention activity with children and young people.
- Fund young people involved in or at risk of being involved in gangs and serious violence with more intensive, tailored support through early access to the DWP Work and Health Programme.
- Explore and build on models of partnerships that exist and work well in building positive relationships between schools and police in England.
- Invest in the Troubled Families Programme in England .
- Providing £7m to develop a trauma led policing model across four Welsh police forces focused on ensuring the police can better understand and address the impact of adverse childhood experiences on both perpetrators and victims of serious violence.
- Consider the support for pupils at risk of exclusion and the support offered to children following exclusion to reduce the risk of them being drawn into crime or on pathways onto it.
- Support Redthread to expand and pilot its Youth Violence Intervention Programme outside London, starting with Nottingham and Birmingham, and to develop its service in London hospitals.
- Consider the outcome of the pilot service for victims of county lines, run by St Giles Trust and Missing People.
- Continue to support and fund Young People’s Advocates working with gang‐affected young women and girls, and explore whether the model should be expanded to other areas.
- Refresh the Missing Strategy and publish an implementation plan to reflect those who go missing in the context of county lines criminality.
- Support the expansion of the DIVERT model based on intervention with young adults in police custody.
- Support the rollout of Enhanced Support Units within the youth secure estate, for young people with extremely complex and challenging needs.
- Support rollout of Custody Support Plans as part of the wider youth custody reforms programme.
Practitioners will be reminded of the importance of exploring whether children who perpetrate violent offences may be the victims of child criminal exploitation (CCE). A recent article in the Guardian here looks at the fact that young perpetrators of knife crime are victims too. See the YJLC guide on representing children who may be victims of CCE here.