15 November 2023
As part of the Academy’s work to safeguard all our students we have been following advice from our local Police about the potential dangers to young people from urban street gangs, organised crime and the risk young people potentially face at being groomed into criminal activity and criminal exploitation.
At the end of October Birmingham Police had a week long campaign to disrupt criminal exploitation of young people and especially linked to ‘county lines’. County lines is when young people are recruited by organised criminals to carry drugs across the country using train lines.
Young people in Birmingham have been targeted and have been found in areas such as Telford, Bristol and North Devon. In some of these cases parents and schools were not aware that these students were at risk to being dragged into this kind of criminal activity.
There are warning signs that staff in schools are trained to look out for and I am sharing this guidance from the Police so that parents can also monitor and look out for. Tell tail signs might include some of the following:
New friendship groups with older people
Unexplained absence from school
Unexplained new expensive items.
More than one mobile phone
Staying out late
Use of drugs
The NSPCC website has lots of valuable information for parents around the risks faced by young people and criminal exploitation.
Criminal exploitation and gangs | NSPCC This page gives more information for parents on:
I must stress that most children and families will never experience these issues, but having the knowledge of how best to protect and safeguard young people makes the chances of your child falling into criminal exploitation even less likely.
If you are worried or concerned your child might be vulnerable to being exploited please contact me and the school safeguarding team and/or the Police and we will be able to offer guidance and support.
Jason Halstead DSL
Academy Safeguarding Lead
0121 373 1080