Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk
New Norfolk projects launched to tackle child criminal exploitation, drugs and violence
Six partnership projects to tackle serious violence in Norfolk by preventing the exploitation of young people by criminal gangs
have been launched this year.
The projects have been developed by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, in collaboration with partners including Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk County Council. Funding was secured through a successful bid to the Home Office’s Early Intervention Youth Fund with Norfolk being awarded £700,000.
In recent years, Norfolk has experienced a significant increase in serious violence associated with ‘County Lines’ activity, with police figures showing rises in possession of weapons, knife crime, robbery and drug supply offences.
Norfolk’s PCC Lorne Green, said:
“Child exploitation, gangs, drugs, knife crime – these are not exclusively ‘policing issues’ and they will not be solved through enforcement alone. We’re talking about societal problems; problems we are all concerned about and that we all have a responsibility to play our part in addressing.
“These projects highlight all that is good about partnership working - bringing together organisations from all sectors to tackle the issue from root to branch, and pooling skills, resource and expertise from across the county.
“Together we are much better placed to disrupt the activity of those who seek to exploit our young people, safeguarding and showing our young people that their future can be so much brighter.”
The funding will be used to bring together local experts in the form of a Multi-Agency Child Exploitation (MACE) Team for Norfolk. The team will focus on identifying those at risk of exploitation, and putting in place intervention and support for individuals, families and the wider community.
Over the course of a 15-month pilot, the team will work to raise awareness of the threat of child exploitation, providing training and advice to frontline professionals on recognising the signs and understanding referral processes.
Detached Youth Workers
Specialist youth workers will focus on building relationships with those vulnerable to exploitation in the Norwich area.
The service, designed in partnership with Norfolk County Council, will focus on engaging with young people not known to other services.
The youth workers will link in with the MACE Team and Norfolk’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), sharing local intelligence to help identify need and making referrals to wider support services.
Family Support Practitioners
Family support practitioners with specialist knowledge of child criminal exploitation will work alongside the MACE team. Their role will be to focus on whole family intervention, working with young people in Norwich who have been exploited and ensuring their families feel supported in keeping them safe.
St Giles Trust will take its SOS+ project across Norfolk, delivering 120 preventative sessions to 8,600 school children, with intensive 1-2-1 support for those deemed as at high risk. 40 awareness-raising sessions will be delivered to 2,100 Norfolk teachers, and 80 sessions reaching around 7,700 parents. Additional funding from the Norfolk PCC’s
Hidden Victims Fund will enable this project to run for three years.
Pathways Out Programme
Developed by the PCC Office, Mancroft Advice Project (MAP) and the Norfolk Youth Offending Team, the programme will deliver 1-2-1 mentoring to 40 young people aged 17 and under in Norwich who are identified as vulnerable to criminal exploitation. Mentors will work with the young people to build confidence and skills, providing positive educational and work experiences and raising ambitions, helping them onto an alternative path.
Third Sector Capacity Building
This project, delivered by Momentum, aims to increase understanding and knowledge of child criminal exploitation within the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE). By providing information and training to VCSE organisations, Momentum will work to improve joint working and increase the county’s capacity to prevent child criminal exploitation and support those affected.
For more information on these projects or the wider work of your PCC, visit www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk
Written and funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk