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Local police working to raise awareness of gangs exploiting young people

The East Area Command are working to raise awareness of gangs exploiting local young people

Police in Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham are raising awareness of gangs exploiting local young people.

The Met’s East Area Command are appealing to parents and carers to take action if they believe their children are at risk of being drawn into crime.

Exploitation can come in many forms, including youngsters being recruited by organised gangs to supply drugs.

Detective Superintendent Paul Trevers said, “All too often we are called to incidents of extreme violence where youngsters have been attacked by rival gangs, or we arrest youngsters who are moving and selling drugs for dealers who are higher up in the gang hierarchy.

“They mistakenly believe that being associated with an established, well known gang member will raise their own social status, but this is not the case.

“The potential personal cost of the risks they take far outweigh the benefits of what they believe will be ‘easy cash’. ”

Officers are engaging with children in schools to help tackle the issue and are running regular online courses for parents.

Anyone concerned about a young person vulnerable to being groomed by a gang should get in touch with the police.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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