Government grant of £481,000 to keep young people in Nottingham away from crime and gangs

By Joseph Locker

More than £400,000 is to be spent on services to help keep young people in Nottingham away from crime and gangs.

The Government's Department for Education says Nottingham is one of 21 areas across the country which will benefit from the funding.

A total of £15m is available from the Treasury's so-called shared outcomes fund, and £481,200 has been awarded to the city.

It comes after reports of County Lines gangs manipulating children and young people into transporting drugs from one area to another.

These gangs are just one way in which children and young people may become involved, even involuntarily, in crime.

A number of County Lines operations have been carried out by Nottinghamshire Police in the past few months.

Police forces estimate that there are around 600 county lines gangs operating in the UK.

To support young people and keep them away from gangs and criminal activity, the money will be spent on Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforces.

These will work directly with young people in alternative provision settings to offer intensive support from experts, including mental health professionals, family workers, and speech and language therapists.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said: "Keeping young people engaged in their learning can be absolutely vital in preventing them from being drawn into serious violence or exploited by gangs – especially in light of increased risks from the pandemic.

“We have all seen the tragic results of when a child gets caught up in crime, so getting in early to keep them on track is crucial for their safety and that of our communities.

“That is why we are setting up these taskforces to provide the intensive and targeted help these vulnerable young people need, not only for their education but also for their wellbeing, to ensure they stay on the right track that will ultimately provide them with the bright future they deserve.”

The two-year programme will aim to keep pupils in alternative provision, including those who have been excluded from school, so they are still engaged in education.

They will also be assisted in getting them back on track with their studies and preventing them from being drawn into gang activity or becoming involved with serious crime.

Nottingham is one of 21 areas where Alternative Provision Taskforces will be rolled out because it has been identified there are higher incidences of youth violence, including hospital admissions for assault with a sharp object, as well as a higher number of serious violence offences.


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