As children reach their teens, they can become more vulnerable to abuse or exploitation from outside their families. These threats might arise at school and other educational establishments, from within peer groups, or more widely from within the wider community and online. Threats can take a variety of different forms and children can be vulnerable to multiple threats, including exploitation by criminal gangs and organised crime groups such as county lines, trafficking, online abuse, sexual exploitation and the influences of extremism leading to radicalisation. This is sometimes known as contextual risk.
There are approximately 26,700 young people in Greenwich. Their numbers are expected to grow by 15% over the next five years, so that by 2023 there will be 30,600 children aged 11 – 18. They are a diverse group with over 65% from black and minority ethnic groups. The vast majority of them are able to grow, thrive and achieve with the support of their families and universal provision such as schools, youth clubs and community activities. However, a small cohort require more targeted, intensive or specialist support.
The Government is determined to do all it can to break the deadly cycle of violence that devastates the lives of individuals, families and communities. This Serious Violence Strategy strategy consolidates the range of very important work already being taken forward and renews our ambition to go further, setting out a number of significant new proposals. The approach is not solely focused on law enforcement, very important as that is, but depends on partnerships across a number of sectors such as education, health, social services, housing, youth services, and victim services. In particular it needs the support of communities thinking about what they can themselves do to help prevent violent crime happening in the first place and how they can support measures to get young people and young adults involved in positive activities. The government’s overarching message is that tackling serious violence is not a law enforcement issue alone. It requires a multiple strand approach involving a range of partners across different sectors.