23rd June 2010
A new report, published today, by the three independent inspectorates for prisons, probation and police, has revealed a "patchy and, at times, counterproductive" approach to tackling gang membership among children.
The independent thematic review was carried out under a service level agreement between the Prisons Inspectorate and the Youth Justice Board (YJB), and was undertaken jointly by the inspectorates of prison, probation and police. It examined how in practice the three inspected agencies – police, youth offending teams and young offender institutions – were dealing with and understanding gangs and gang-related crime.
Responses from all three inspected services were patchy and at times counter-productive:
Good initiatives and some good practice examples are listed in the report; the report also includes the views of young people on gang membership, seen as a source of protection but also of fear.
The report concludes that there is no clear integrated joint national strategy to support criminal justice and community agencies in tackling the causes as well as the effects of gang activity. This has led to agencies missing significant opportunities in terms of prevention or early intervention.