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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is calling on the Home Secretary, Priti Patel to take urgent action to reduce the number of young people becoming involved in selling drugs on county lines.
The PCC believes the main way to do this is for the Home Secretary to work with the Secretary of State for Education to develop a cross government strategy to reduce the number of young people being excluded from school becoming involved in criminality.
Over the past few months the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson has called on the government to work to reduce the number of young people being excluded from school.
Growing evidence shows that the most vulnerable children in society are more likely to be either permanently excluded from school or off-rolled, while research shows those excluded from mainstream education are at significantly greater risk of becoming involved in or affected by serious youth violence.
Those who have been excluded from school are amongst the most vulnerable in society and are more likely to be groomed by criminal gangs and end up on county lines.
The PCC has previously written to the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Policing Minister to highlight the link between those who have been excluded from school are more likely to become involved in crime.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “I have been saying for some time now that what lies at the heart of county lines, and the young people who get involved in it is the fact that almost all of them are excluded from school. This is an issue I have raised with government on a number of occasions and also at Downing Street.
“Over the new year I recently wrote to the Prime Minister, calling on him to take action to ensure that when a young person is excluded from school, that good alternative provision is in place and that they don’t simply end up on the streets to be preyed upon by county lines gangs. As a former head teacher I know first hand the support our young people need, that sadly many are no longer getting.
“More action needs to be taken to crack down on the gangs exploiting these young people. But it is vital that we start addressing the root causes of county lines and put an end to children being drawn into them in the first place.
“Reducing the number of exclusions, by increasing pastoral support in schools would be a good place to start. For those young people that have to be excluded, a proper alternative educational provision is essential to help keep them out of crime and harm”.
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