'Teach pupils to avoid gangs' – children's commissioner

Pupils must be taught in class the best way to keep away from being sucked into gangs or exploited by older criminals, the youngsters’s commissioner has mentioned.

Anne Longfield mentioned private, social, well being and economics schooling (PSHE) classes ought to assist youngsters spot when they’re being focused by gangs.

It follows reports children are being used by criminals as “cash mules”.

She mentioned youngsters in search of “a way of belonging, quick cash” or “glamour” had been in danger.

Ms Longfield’s analysis has discovered 46,000 children in England are involved in gangs.

Cash laundering

Chatting with BBC Radio 5 Reside’s Sunday Breakfast programme, the youngsters’s commissioner mentioned youngsters as younger as 10 had been being recruited into gangs that may very well be “extraordinarily violent, normally intimidatory and sexually abusive, notably in the direction of women”.

“These are horrific conditions that younger persons are getting themselves into.”

Simon Dukes, chief govt of the fraud prevention organisation Cifas, mentioned some had been being persuaded handy over entry to their financial institution accounts to criminals for cash laundering functions.

He mentioned criminals lure youngsters in with obvious money-making alternatives on social media, and move cash by their accounts to disguise the sources of illicit funds.

“Criminals, in fact, prey on essentially the most susceptible they usually’re preying on youthful individuals due to their lack of awareness, specifically, about what’s successfully cash laundering.”

Ms Longfield mentioned different younger individuals had been getting used to move medication.

“Anecdotally, I am instructed that middle-class youngsters are sometimes being focused as nicely as a result of they’re much less more likely to be stopped.

“Kids who’re simpler to intimidate, susceptible ultimately and sometimes being bullied, these which can be simpler to regulate, are being picked on.”

Earlier this 12 months, the government announced that PSHE would be made compulsory in all state colleges.

The federal government is at the moment consulting on what to incorporate within the everlasting curriculum, however as but, there isn’t any timetable for its introduction.

Ms Longfield mentioned the “life expertise classes” ought to embody info on the dangers of turning into concerned in gangs, an understanding of how gangs goal youngsters and assist in constructing resilience to withstand them.


Mother and father will not be conscious of who their youngsters are speaking to by way of social media, so younger individuals themselves want to have the ability to perceive the distinction between “real alternatives” and exploitative conditions, she added.

“For youthful youngsters it can usually be the draw of quick cash – typically safety for themselves in the event that they’re fearful about their very own wellbeing – however actually additionally a way of belonging, quick cash, typically glamour…

“Life expertise is one thing that the federal government has dedicated itself to do.

“Most colleges in the intervening time do present life talent classes however they’re usually inconsistent and sometimes they do not deal with a few of these points which can be a lot tougher to deal with.”

The commissioner additionally referred to as for police forces to work collectively to supply higher information on the variety of youngsters focused by gangs.

The PSHE Affiliation, a nationwide physique working to enhance PSHE schooling, mentioned it supported the decision for obligatory classes to assist younger individuals perceive “the precise dangers of gang membership for people, households and communities”.

A spokesman mentioned a broad PSHE schooling “provides pupils the information and expertise to raised perceive peer affect, and helps them recognise and keep away from exploitative relationships, on-line and offline”.


Printed at Solar, 30 Jul 2017 14:41:49 +000zero