Local areas must face up to the scale of child criminal exploitation

By Anne Longfield | 04 March 2019

Nobody who has worked with children should be surprised at the figures I published in my recent report into children involved with gangs. Our estimation that there are thousands of children at risk of becoming sucked into a dangerous criminal world from which some find it difficult to escape shines a light on a problem that has been growing for some time.

We know too that many of these children are the most vulnerable. They’re the kids living with domestic violence in the home, or substance abuse problems. Frequently they are struggling with special educational needs, often they end up excluded from school. However, our data survey suggests less than half of child offenders involved in gangs are being supported by children’s services.

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