Understanding serious youth violence, gangs and the impact of County Lines

29 Nov 2018

One Canal Parade, Cardiff
PRICE

Speakers

Evan Jones
Head of Community Services, St Giles Trust
Junior Smart
Business Development Manager and Head of SOS Gangs Project, St Giles Trust

Start

November 29, 2018 - 9:30 am

End

November 29, 2018 - 3:40 pm

StGT logo PNG (2)






A new ‘business model’ for trafficking illegal drugs is being built up by gangs across the UK. It is based on the rapid establishment of local drug sellers who operate using ‘county lines’ (mobile phones) in market towns and coastal towns, as well as cities outside London.

Thousands of children and young people are being groomed by gangs to act as drug runners. Most of these have no record of criminal activity and travel by rail to avoid Automatic Number Plate Recognition alerts. Reports cite young teenagers and, increasingly, pre-teens who have been identified couriering drugs.

Sexual exploitation linked to county lines is also widespread, with senior gang members exploiting girls involved in trafficking drugs.

Also at risk are vulnerable adults whose properties are taken over to use as ‘trap houses’, the gang’s base in the locality. These may be adults who are drug users themselves, who have little support and cannot say no.

Once involved, the gangs use violent coercion to ensure loyalty; for most there seems no escape. Police are now looking to prosecute gang members under modern slavery and human trafficking laws.

County lines operations have been established in many towns throughout the UK, with one operation found in Aberdeen, and others in Lincolnshire, South Wales, Devon, Merseyside and Norfolk, as well as the Home Counties.

How exactly do these county line operations work? How are young people groomed? What really happens to them when they become gang involved? How can young people be helped to avoid gang involvement, or to exit from it if they are already involved?

This learning day is provided by Junior Smart and Evan Jones from the nationally renowned St Giles Trust. Junior set up and continues to run SOS Gangs, London’s largest gangs exit programme. Through both professional and personal experience, they will explain the operational detail behind county lines and gang involvement, and look at how to support at-risk young people most effectively.

The St Giles Trust is working with charity Missing People to tackle the growing threat of county lines through a new, Home Office-funded pilot project in Kent. Its Cardiff-based service tackling county lines activity in South Wales is now also underway with funding from Children in Need.

 

 

‘County lines’ refers to new drug dealing operations across different counties run by established gangs who groom vulnerable young people to transport and deal drugs in these new markets. Young people are drawn in with promises of money, protection and status. Once involved, the reality is completely different. The promises do not materialise and the young people are coerced into carrying out risky activities, and are often threatened with physical and sexual violence if they try to break away.

County lines operations have been established in many towns throughout the UK, with one operation found in Aberdeen, and others in Lincolnshire, South Wales, Devon, Merseyside and Norfolk, as well as the Home Counties.

How exactly do these county line operations work? How are young people groomed? What really happens to them when they become gang involved? How can young people be helped to avoid gang involvement, or to exit from it if they are already involved?

This learning day is provided by Junior Smart and Evan Jones from the nationally renowned St Giles Trust. Junior set up and continues to run SOS Gangs, London’s largest gangs exit programme. Through both professional and personal experience, they will explain the operational detail behind county lines and gang involvement, and look at how to support at-risk young people most effectively.

The St Giles Trust will be working with charity Missing People to tackle the growing threat of county lines through a new, Home Office-funded pilot project in Kent. A Cardiff-based service tackling county lines activity in South Wales is now also underway with funding from Children in Need.

The feedback from the event which ran earlier this year was rated at over 80%  excellent.

Junior Smart joined St Giles Trust in 2006 upon his release from prison from where he was given a 10-year sentence for a drug and gang related offence. With support from St Giles Trust he set up and developed the award-winning SOS Gangs project, London’s largest ex-offender gangs exit programme. Now covering 13 London boroughs and employing a team comprising predominately of ex-offenders, the SOS Gangs Project is on target to reach over 600 young people caught up in serious group offending and has won numerous awards and recognition, including the South London Press Awards 2008 and the Centre for Social Justice Awards in 2009.

Junior Smart is not only a Youth Leader but a qualified trainer and Gangs Consultant. Despite dropping out of education at the age of 14 he has achieved a first-class degree in Youth Work and Distinction in his MA in Criminology, Youth Crime and Justice. He is currently undertaking a PhD at Middlesex University.

His main focus has been centred on Violence Desistance in all its forms and he regularly designs new projects, feeds into public policy through Public Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Justice and consults with the Met Police as well as other statutory bodies on best practice.

Junior was listed in the Evening Standard’s list of 1000 Influential Londoners in 2014 and 2015 and SOS Gangs has won numerous awards: The Charity Awards 2014, The Third Sector Excellence Awards 2011, the Centre for Social Justice Awards 2010 and The South London Press Awards 2008.

 Evan Jones has worked in homelessness and offender services since the late 80s both in the statutory and voluntary sectors; he has worked for: Westminster Council, Carr Gomm, North Lambeth Day Centre, Broadway, Southwark Council and St Giles Trust. His roles have included resettlement, shared housing management, floating support, street outreach, housing allocation and now at St Giles Trust he develops new projects, manages existing ones and chases funding for both.

Agenda (subject to change)

9.30 – 10.00

Registration and coffee

10.00 – 10.15

Introductions/ House Keeping

  • The big questions

10.15 – 11.00

Gangs – the Bigger Picture

  • Understanding Gang Culture
  • How and why young people get involved
  • Structure and hierarchy
  • Girls and their involvement

11.00 – 11.25

Break

11.25 – 12.25

County Lines – the evolving model for drug trafficking

  • How they evolved
  • How they operate
  • What are the key things that indicate they are there

12.25 – 13.25

Lunch

13.25 – 14.25

Interventions and Strategies

  • Tools and strategies
  • Questioning and Challenging Young people
  • Learning from others’ mistakes

14.25 – 14.40

Break

14.40 – 15.30

Building the right service

  • How St Giles did it
  • Working in partnership
  • Activity

15.30 – 15.40

Final questions and comments

  • Children’s social workers
  • Schools
  • Services for children excluded from school
  • Pupil referral units
  • Missing children services
  • Looked after children’s services
  • Child sexual exploitation services
  • Children’s charities
  • Youth offending services
  • Police
  • Social housing
  • Services working with vulnerable adults

£130 + VAT per place

A *team deal discount is available when you book 3 or 5 places together

*3 places (3rd place half price) £325 +VAT

*5 places  (5th place free) £520 + VAT

Please ring 0115 9163104 for further information.

The delegate rate includes an information pack, lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

 

Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellations received up to and including 8th November 2018 will be refunded in full less an administration fee of 25%. Cancellations received after this date will be liable for payment in full.  Team deals are non-cancellable, but substitute delegates will be accepted.

The full invoice amount will remain payable if you fail to attend the event, however, substitute delegates will be accepted up until, and including, the day of the event.

CANCELLATIONS SHOULD BE MADE IN WRITING TO conferences@ccclimited.org.uk AND WILL BE ACKNOWLEDGED BY RETURN.

 

Confirmation of booking:

Your booking will be confirmed by email where possible (and by fax or post otherwise), and you will be provided with directions to the venue and details on nearby hotel accommodation. If you do not receive such acknowledgement, please contact Central Conference Consultants Ltd on 0115 916 3104.

The training will take place in Cardiff City Centre at One Canal Parade.

Full address:

One Canal Parade

Dumballs Road
Cardiff
CF10 5BF

Venue telephone – 02920 250350

One Canal Parade is centrally located and is next to Cardiff & Vale College campus.

Getting to the venue :

Train

Cardiff Central train station is within a 5 minutes walk of the venue

Car parking and direction information

The venue turnoff is junction 33 on the M4

There are pay and display car parks nearby,  limited spaces