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Rethinking County lines and Youth Gang Violence

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University of Suffolk

19 Neptune Quay

Ipswich

IP4 1QJ

United Kingdom

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Validation and Reflection on Phase 1 research

Rapid Assessment Exercise (RAE) in Ipswich

In February 2017 Suffolk County Council commissioned a RAE to examine presenting issues of violence, safeguarding and anti-social behaviour in Ipswich (Phase 1). A RAE is a tool for identifying, generating and summarising available research evidence, on strategic issues as comprehensively as possible within tight time and budgetary constraints. The RAE aims to identify the nature of the problems associated with the reports of crime, anti-social behaviour (ASB) and exploitation; describe and assess existing interventions and service provision and, where relevant, highlight gaps and anomalies. The RAE therefore aims to present a basis for an evidence-based strategy for a co-ordinated response to the crime and ASB issues manifesting in Ipswich. It is suited to the development of policy and practice in fast changing situations.

County Lines

In its County Lines, Gangs and Safeguarding report (2016) the NCA describes the way street gangs, exploiting vulnerable younger adolescents in both the major cities and the destination locations, distribute narcotics across wide swathes of the country. It appears that the proliferation of drug markets in England and Wales has been a major factor in the emergence of street gangs and gang culture outside the major UK cities (Pitts, 2008, Andell & Pitts, 2010). Early findings suggest the operation of County Lines in Ipswich which are precipitating numerous concerns particularly regarding young people.

The event will disseminate the findings of the REA, including recommendations around prevention, intervention and enforcement. It will provide practitioners and policy makers opportunities to reflect and consider what a multi-agency response to reduce the harms associated with County Lines might look like in Ipswich (Suffolk) and an insight and learning from other areas to inform our response.

Speakers

Dr Paul Andell DCR (R) BA CQSW MA (Dist) Prof Doc. FHEA is a lecturer at University of Suffolk. He has worked as a probation officer, youth justice worker and community safety manager for the Greater London Authority. Paul was Head of Criminal Justice Initiatives for the Criminal Defence Service and a Strategic Advisor to several Local Criminal Justice Boards on behalf of the Ministry of Justice. Paul has also led national research projects on policing and was a managing consultant for Matrix Knowledge on a number of Home Office sponsored projects. Recently Paul was National Director of Brathay Communities Projects which included the Lambeth X-It project. Paul co-authored the West Yorkshire Gang Vulnerability Report undertaken on behalf of West Yorkshire Police and has acted as a consultant for the Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Offending Service SOS- gang desistance project and the Lambeth Gangs Strategy. Paul is currently the Deputy Chair of the London Gang Forum.

Prof. John Pitts MA, PhD, D.Litt, Dip.Ed. Dip.YW, FRSA is Vauxhall Professor of Socio-legal Studies at the University of Bedfordshire and a Visiting Professor of Criminology at the University of Suffolk and the North China University of Politics & Law in Shanghai. He has worked as a school teacher; a street and club-based youth worker; a group worker in a Young Offender Institution and as a consultant on youth crime and youth justice to the police and youth justice and legal professionals in the UK, mainland Europe, the Russian Federation and China. He has written extensively about youth justice in England and Wales, most notably in The New Politics of Youth Crime (Macmillan, 2001) and in the past decade he has undertaken studies of violent youth gangs and drug markets in London, Manchester and West Yorkshire, the findings of which are recounted in Reluctant Gangsters (Willan/Routledge, 2008) and Critical Realism & Gang Violence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016 [ed. R. Matthews]). He has acted as an adviser on violent youth gangs to local authorities and police forces. He was a consultant to the Centre for Social Justice inquiry into violent youth gangs in the UK, published as Dying to Belong (2009) and a participant in the Prime Minister's Gang Summit in October 2011. He was deputy chair of the London Gangs Forum and a member of the Children's Commissioner's Inquiry into Child and Adolescent Sexual Exploitation. Since 2013 he has been undertaking research on pathways into, and multi-agency responses to, organised crime in Greater Manchester. In July 2011 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters for ‘ ... his published work and research, the conspicuous originality of which … has contributed significantly to the development of youth justice in England and Wales.’


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University of Suffolk

19 Neptune Quay

Ipswich

IP4 1QJ

United Kingdom

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