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Gangs and Youth Violence

The vast majority of young people are not involved in gangs, guns or knife crime and want nothing to do with them. However, the behaviour of the small number of young people who are involved has a significant impact on communities, on their families and associates, as well as themselves.

Preventing violence in schools and colleges can require a mix of universal, targeted or specialist interventions. School and college leaders should be able to:

  • develop skills and knowledge to resolve conflict as part of the curriculum;
  • challenge aggressive behaviour in ways that prevent the recurrence of such behaviour;
  • understand risks for specific groups, including those that are gender-based, and target interventions;
  • safeguard, and specifically organise child protection, when needed;
  • carefully manage individual transitions between educational establishments, especially into Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) or alternative provision; and
  • work with local partners to prevent anti-social behaviour or crime.

Preventing youth violence and gang involvement: Practical advice for schools and colleges , Home Office

Funded and supported by the Home Office , the NSPCC is providing a 24-hour helpline (0800 800 500) to help parents, carers or any other adult worried about a child or young person at risk from gang-related activity. This includes children and young people who are not themselves in a gang, but may be at risk of being targeted by gang members.

Advice to parents and carers on gangs  – This leaflet from the Home Office provides advice to help parents/carers stop their children from being involved in gangs.

Searching, screening and confiscation: advice for schools  – DfE advice explaining the powers schools have to screen and search pupils and to confiscate items.

Videos on Serious Youth Violence (LGfL) – LGfL has worked with criminologist and urban youth specialist Craig Pinkney from University College Birmingham.  This series of short videos provide an insight into serious youth violence, from knife-crime to gangs, social media and beyond.

The Early Intervention Foundation has recently produced a report that explores the extent to which young children at risk of gang involvement or youth violence are supported through evidence-based early intervention, particularly within primary schools.

The ‘London Needs You Alive’ campaign is supported by a range of resources in the form of a toolkit. The resources are branded with the London message but the content can be used more generically. The materials cover key stages 2-5 and included resources for use in schools and other settings accessed by young people.

PC Rob Pedley MBE: Precious Lives
This presentation, lasting 70mins, is usually delivered to whole year groups in a hall setting. It looks at recent youth murders and how everyday young people made a choice which had life changing consequences for so many. It is focused around knife crime but has been adapted to a wide range of audiences covering varied topics from drugs and anti-social behaviour to being more motivated to achieve at school.
The presentation includes Alison Cope as guest speaker. Alison’s son Joshua Ribera was stabbed and murdered in Selly Oak in September 2013, he was well known within the grime music scene as Depzman with over 60 million views of his music videos on youtube. Alison tells his life story leading
up to the night of his murder and how many lives were changed that night by the actions of one person. Alison is 2015 Pride of Birmingham winner.
Book sessions directly via:
PC Rob Pedley –
Switchboard: 101 (+ 807 3118)

The Healthy Schools Islington have produced a teaching resource aimed at year 6 children entitled Keeping Safe Out and About. The lesson plans have been written for teachers in primary schools who want to teach about the risks of participating in anti-social behaviour, gangs and gang related behaviour and keeping safe in the local area.

True Tube provides videos, lesson plans and assemblies for RE, PSHE and Citizenship for key stages 3 & 4. These include materials that will support schools in addressing the issue of guns, gangs and knife crime.

Safe: Risks and choices out and about provides a series of lessons linked to personal safety, risky behaviour and violent crime for secondary age pupils.

The Count Me In campaign and associated materials aims to increase young people’s understanding, confidence, and belief in the fact that it is safer not to carry knives and similar weapons.

The PSHE Association have a useful teaching resource (KS3/4) available to members:  ‘Gangs: Managing risks and staying safe’ lesson pack in partnership with Medway Public Health to help teachers explore with students why a person might join a gang, the implications of carrying weapons, and ways to get support with gang-related issues.

The Ben Kinsella Trust have produced these free lesson plans designed alongside the PSHE Association suitable for teaching staff delivering to Key Stage 2, 3 and 4. If you would like a copy please click the link below

The Ben Kinsella Trust – Supporting Lessons Docx

No Knives Better Lives is a national initiative which works with local organisations to provide information and support. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife and provides information on local activities and opportunities for young people. The website contains resources for both primary and secondary schools.

The Red Cross have produced a lesson plan for secondary age pupils entitled Stabbing. It is part of the British Red Cross humanitarian education programme and consists of lesson plan for use in any educational setting with young people, particularly informally or as part of citizenship education. It will help students think about and discuss what it is like to be someone else, and understand and reflect on other people’s situations and feelings. Red Cross – Lesson Plan