Local councils are unwittingly acting as ‘recruiting sergeants’ for County Lines drugs gangs by sending vulnerable children to live miles away from home, according to a parliamentary inquiry out today.
Evidence submitted to the inquiry suggests thousands of children are being put at risk by being moved to children’s homes up to 100 miles from where they live.
This “sent away generation” become magnets for paedophiles and ‘County Lines’ gangs as they are isolated from friends, family and social workers, says the report ‘No Place at Home’ by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults into children missing from out of area placements.
More than 70 per cent of the 41 police forces that responded to the inquiry said that placing children out of area increased their risk of exploitation often resulting in them being coerced into going missing.
I was interviewed for Newsnights special report on children who are placed in unregistered children’s homes. They found that 5,000 children are living in pop-up children’s homes across England. The full report can be watched on BBC iPlayer until 20th May 2019 here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0005bsc/newsnight-20052019
More information below.
On 30th April I was delighted to attend the National Complex Safeguarding conference hosted by Greater Manchester police where I spoke about the All Party Parliamentary Groups work on children who are criminally exploited. The presentation which accompanied my speech is below.