The work to tackle gang related problems in Brent has today [18 January] been recognised by the Government as a model of best practice.
As the Home Office launches a new policy on ending gang violence and exploitation, they've pointed towards Brent as an example of the right way to approach this serious issue, with a strong partnership between the council, the police and a range of voluntary and community agencies.
The new policy sets out priorities including reducing violence and knife crime, tackling the abuse of vulnerable people in the drug trade through county lines, creating opportunities to divert youngsters away from gangs, protecting vulnerable locations, safeguarding gang associated girls and women, and early intervention with at risk youngsters.
Brent's cabinet member for stronger communities James Denselow said:
"Gang related crime ruins lives so it is reassuring that our work to protect vulnerable young people from exploitation from gangs is being acknowledged. We will continue to target the organised criminals at the heart of these gangs, whilst offering support to both their victims and those young men and women who they exploit as part of their activities. We're particularly keen to encourage people to look out for the signs of young people at the early stages of being groomed by these gangs. This could be a parent seeing their school-age child suddenly having money or a mobile phone they can't explain, or a school seeing a rise in truancy, or a minicab firm or hotel worker seeing a girl being plied with drink by older men."
Anyone worried about a young person being exploited can approach us for help by calling the Family Frontdoor service on 020 8937 4300 or emailing email@example.com or in an emergency calling the police on 999.