There are a number of areas in which young people are put at risk by gang activity, both through participation in and as victims of gang violence. Safeguarding procedures can provide a key tool for all agencies working with young people to assist them when working together to prevent young people from being drawn into gangs, to support those who have been drawn into the margins of gangs; and to protect those who are at immediate risk of harm either as members or victims of gangs.
This practice guidance is addressed to those who work in voluntary and statutory services across the children’s workforce, social care, crime prevention, the police, prisons and probation, offender management, health, education and all others whose work brings them into contact with children and young people.
It is intended to help agencies and practitioners respond effectively to the needs of children and young people – girls and young women, as well as boys and young men – who are at risk of gang-related violence and harm. To that end, the guidance outlines factors for agencies and practitioners to consider and processes to follow in terms of identification, referral, and assessment and support for young people who may be affected by gang activity.
It also looks at the reasons young people become involved in gangs, the particular risks associated with gang membership for the young people and the risks of being affected by gang activity in other ways.