The Targeted Youth Support Team have the task of preventing young people being drawn into violent crime. On Thursday 11th December 2008, a meeting was held at the Vestry Hall to advise parents about gang culture.
The meeting, which was organised by the Yemeni Community Association (YCA) and funded by Burngreave New Deal and the police, looked at the danger signs of gang involvement and what parents can do if they are concerned.
The meeting was addressed by Inspector Paul McCurry of the Targeted Youth Support Team or Gang Team. Paul stressed that, as a young person, like everyone, he had hung around with friends on the streets. Being in a gang, in itself, is not a crime but being in a gang can increase the risks of getting into trouble.
He talked of “risk factors” around gang involvement – which may include temporary exclusions from school, siblings involved in crime, low educational attainment – and warning signs, such as absence from school, loss of interest in positive activities like sports clubs, unexplained money or possessions, distinctive clothing, badges or tags, unexplained physical injuries or being vague about staying out late or new friends.
Parents can help prevent their children from getting into trouble by talking with their children and being interested in their school activities. He advised parents to know their child’s friends and their families. Make sure you are a positive role model, as children will learn from their experience and teach them how to resist peer pressure and deal with conflicts without using violence. Set clear boundaries, but keep to your own rules and avoid double standards.
To speak with or refer a young person to the gang team, ring: 283 5927.
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