Nottinghamshire Police chief wants to stop vulnerable children being lured into crime

This week, schools are re-opening their doors for a new term and a fresh year.

By Paddy Tipping
Friday, 28th August 2020, 1:50 pm

For many youngsters, it will be the first time they have stepped inside a classroom for five months.

It will certainly feel very different this year and children will be getting used to new rules and changes to their day.

The pandemic has disrupted the lives of every child, but particularly vulnerable children living within abusive or violent homes who have faced terror and fear during lockdown.

Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Photo: Tracey Whitefoot.

We are doing everything we can to support these young people and ensure they receive the right support and protection they need.

Education is so important and we are fortunate to have so many committed teachers who have worked throughout the summer to ensure the safety of pupils and staff returning to school.

It is vital we all pull together to follow the safety guidance to protect us from Covid-19.

Nobody wants to be in a position where we are forced back into lockdown and we need to continue to play our part.

The risks associated with Covid-19 are not confined to health.

We know that many families are facing or will face financial hardship during the economic downturn and these pressures may see a higher number of children encouraged or lured into criminality.

The threat of ‘county lines’ crime is likely to grow alongside its associated violence.

Much of the work we do through the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is aimed at changing the mind-set of young people and giving them opportunities for self-development and progression.

It is imperative we start this intervention process early which is why we have officers going into schools to engage with pupils and continue to support projects which mentor young people at risk.

This month, we also launched the new hard-hitting social media campaign #STOPVIOLENCE, co-produced by young people, which shatters the myths of violence and gang culture and reveals the true destruction it wreaks on young lives.

There is plenty more to do but we are working at full throttle to create alternative futures and support change.

Paddy Tipping is Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.