Anonymous teenager in dark corner

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Pupils needs to be taught in class methods to keep away from being sucked into gangs or exploited by older criminals, the youngsters’s commissioner has stated.

Anne Longfield stated private, social, well being and economics schooling (PSHE) classes ought to assist kids spot when they’re being focused by gangs.

It follows reports children are being used by criminals as “cash mules”.

She stated kids on the lookout for “a way of belonging, quick cash” or “glamour” have been in danger.

Ms Longfield’s analysis has discovered 46,000 children in England are involved in gangs.

Cash laundering

Talking to BBC Radio 5 Reside’s Sunday Breakfast programme, the youngsters’s commissioner stated kids as younger as 10 have been being recruited into gangs that may very well be “extraordinarily violent, often intimidatory and sexually abusive, notably in direction of ladies”.

“These are horrific conditions that younger persons are getting themselves into.”

Simon Dukes, chief govt of the fraud prevention organisation Cifas, stated some have been being persuaded handy over entry to their financial institution accounts to criminals for cash laundering functions.

He stated criminals lure kids in with obvious money-making alternatives on social media, and cross cash by means of their accounts to disguise the sources of illicit funds.

“Criminals, after all, prey on probably the most weak they usually’re preying on youthful individuals due to their lack of information, particularly, about what’s successfully cash laundering.”

Ms Longfield stated different younger individuals have been getting used to move medication.

“Anecdotally, I am instructed that middle-class kids are sometimes being focused as properly as a result of they’re much less prone to be stopped.

“Youngsters who’re simpler to intimidate, weak indirectly and infrequently being bullied, these which might be simpler to manage, are being picked on.”

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Eleanor Bentall

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Anne Longfield additionally stated police forces have to hold higher knowledge on youngster involvement in gangs

Earlier this yr, the government announced that PSHE would be made compulsory in all state faculties.

The federal government is at present consulting on what to incorporate within the everlasting curriculum, however as but, there isn’t a timetable for its introduction.

Ms Longfield stated the “life expertise classes” ought to embody info on the dangers of turning into concerned in gangs, an understanding of how gangs goal kids and assist in constructing resilience to withstand them.


Dad and mom is probably not conscious of who their kids are speaking to through social media, so younger individuals themselves want to have the ability to perceive the distinction between “real alternatives” and exploitative conditions, she added.

“For youthful kids it’ll usually be the draw of quick cash – generally safety for themselves in the event that they’re fearful about their very own wellbeing – however actually additionally a way of belonging, quick cash, generally glamour…

“Life expertise is one thing that the federal government has dedicated itself to do.

“Most colleges in the intervening time do present life ability classes however they’re usually inconsistent and infrequently they do not deal with a few of these points which might be a lot tougher to deal with.”

The commissioner additionally referred to as for police forces to work collectively to supply higher knowledge on the variety of kids focused by gangs.