Live updates

Half of girl gang members expect 'protection for sex'

A study by Bedfordshire University has asked 96 young people connected with gangs what they identified as being part of gang life.

  • Half identified examples of ‘sex in exchange for (perceived) status or protection’
  • 34% identified examples of ‘multiple perpetrator rape’
  • 39 per cent identified examples of ‘sex in exchange for other tangible goods’
  • Girls 'less likely' to be stopped by police as only six per cent of stop-and-searches were conducted on females in London last year

Daily 'suffering' of girls in gangs 'going unnoticed'

Girls in gangs live in a "parallel world" where rape is used as a weapon and carrying drugs and guns is seen as normal, the director of a think tank has warned. Edward Boyd of the Centre for Social Justice said:

We are often unsighted about the desperate lives of girls embroiled in gangs. While the media regularly shines a spotlight on the criminality of male members, the daily suffering of girls goes largely unnoticed.

Advertisement

Girls face 'brutality and exploitation' in UK gangs

Anonymous children in playground

Girls are facing brutality and exploitation in criminal gangs, a think tank has warned.

The study by Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) revealed a "parallel world" of sex abuse in which male gang members entrap girls and use them for sexual rituals, as well as to carry drugs because they know they are less likely to be searched by police.

The report, Girls and Gangs, calls for urgent action and criticises the Home Office for failing to do enough to combat gang culture in inner cities since the 2011 riots .

It also says that too often headteachers "turn a blind eye" to gang activity, including the sexual exploitation of girls, to preserve schools' reputations.

Facts on knife crime in the UK

  • Almost half of all knife crime in the UK takes place in London, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands
  • 60% of knife crime attacks in London are carried out in a gang context
  • In 2010-11, one in seven of all emergency hospital admissions for assault among 13-24 year olds involved a knife or sharp object
  • The Government has identified 32 priority areas where gang and youth violence is most prevalent

(Sources: Metropolitan Police, Home Office)

Community groups to receive extra funding for work with gangs

Fifty organisations working to help young people avoid getting involved with gangs are to receive up to £10,000, the Home Office has announced.

Advertisement

Priority areas to include home of Boxing Day stab victim

Seydou Diarrassouba Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The number of priority areas for stemming youth violence will be extended to include the home borough of an 18-year-old who was stabbed to death this time last year.

Seydou Diarrassouba, of Mitcham in south-west London, died after being stabbed twice during last year's Boxing Day sales in a branch of Foot Locker on Oxford Street.

Under new plans announced by the Home Office, frontline teams will cover Hammersmith and Fulham, Leeds and Merton in addition to the 29 other priority areas.

Home Office to spend more on tackling youth violence

The Home Office has announced an extra £500,000 of funding to help tackle gang and youth violence.

The Home Office has committed more funding for tackling youth violence Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

The funding is in addition to £18 million already committed until 2013 and will help finance enforcement as well as positive community action.

It is targeted at young people who are considered at risk of becoming violent offenders and those already involved in gang and knife crime, to encourage them onto a different path.