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Protecting young people from gangs

Published Wednesday, 05 June 2019

A new service has been launched this week to offer support to children and families where there is a concern about a young person at risk of being exploited by a gang.

The Council, West Midlands Police and local partners CATCH 22 and Positive Youth Foundation, have been successful in bidding for the Supporting Families Against Youth Crime Fund.

The project will deliver a three-tier approach to offer support to young people and families where there is a concern that a young person is possibly at risk of being, or is being, exploited by a gang.

The project will:

  • raise awareness amongst professionals, parents, and community members about gang-related issues including criminal exploitation of children; raise awareness amongst school aged children and young people about gang issues and ways to seek help to avoid being involved in gangs.
  • Provide young people on the periphery of gangs or involved in gangs with mentors to help them move away from gangs and enable them to achieve better outcomes
  • Provide targeted whole family work for some young people and their families.

Cllr Pat Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said safeguarding young people was crucial.

She added: “A number of agencies are working together to address violent crime and we know that young people should be protected.

“There have been recent incidents which have been a cause for concern in communities in the city.

“This is an important project and I hope it can provide the extra support to parents, carers and young people especially where there are concerns.”

Cllr Abdul Salam Khan, who chairs the Local Police and Crime Board, added: “We work with the police and other agencies as part of a co-ordinated effort to address all aspects of crime and community safety.

“This is an important part of our approach that highlights the excellent partnership working in the city.”  

Professionals working with children, young people and families are asked to flag up where there are concerns. Where there are concerns that a child or children are at risk of immediate harm or that a crime has been committed against a child or children, they are reminded to take appropriate action to ensure that all children are safeguarded: Coventry MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) Email: MASH@coventry.gov.uk, telephone: 024 7678 8555 and/or West Midlands Police on 101 or 999.

Once professionals have completed and submitted a Screening Tool, a panel will review all submissions to ensure the child/young person gets access to the right help at the right time. Children and young people will be allocated support / resources which meets their needs based.

Any parents/carers who may have concerns about a child/young person, should contact their local family hub for support and guidance.

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