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HomeUKAs young as nine, children are drawn into drug peddling and violence.

As young as nine, children are drawn into drug peddling and violence.

According to the Commission on Young Lives, the procedures designed to protect young people are inadequate.

Children as young as nine are drawn into drug peddling and violence, with thousands of young people in England “groomed, injured, and even murdered,” according to recent research.

The Commission on Young Lives calls for immediate action and investment to combat the “national threat to our country’s prosperity and security” and asserts that the institutions designed to keep young people safe are inadequate.

Anne Longfield, chair, told: “It used to be the case that 11, 12, and 13-year-olds would run and deliver drugs. Now we’re down to 9, 10, and 11

As young as nine, children are drawn into drug peddling and violence.
As young as nine, children are drawn into drug peddling and violence.

“However, you also have 13- and 14-year-olds heading up county lines, carrying drugs throughout the country, and operating a company in a very cruel manner.”

Leah Heyes, 15 years old, died after overdosing on MDMA purchased from another youngster who was being abused and beaten by drug gangs.

Her mother, Kerry Roberts, acknowledges that the child who sold the drugs “was groomed” and was himself a victim, but is lobbying for “Leah’s Law,” which would result in harsher punishments for those who sell narcotics to minors under the age of 16.

Ms. Roberts was unaware of her daughter’s drug use, but now recognizes the severity of the problem.

She stated, “It is as accessible as ordering a pizza. It’s incredibly simple to obtain. And our youngsters today view the use of Class A substances as usual.”

The boy who supplied the drugs, via another juvenile, was 17 years old but had been involved in drug dealing since he was 14 and had been involved in drug trafficking to Manchester and Scarborough, among other places.

Similar to Leah, he attended a pupil referral unit.

Tammy Kirkwood, his mother, told that police, social services, and medics who treated injuries caused by gang members failed to provide the assistance she required to get him out.

She stated, “Three days before Leah’s death, the police were at my residence. I was seeking assistance.

If something had occurred during those three days or when he was 14 years old, he would not have gone to prison and Leah would be here.

Ms. Longfield concurred and added: “When a parent discovered a horrifying “burner phone” in their child’s bedroom, along with a knife or some cash, they would call social services or the police, we were repeatedly told. But nobody could assist them.”

The Commission on Young Lives is advocating for the introduction of a new Sure Start Plus program for adolescents, which would be partially funded by the millions of pounds collected annually from the profits of crime and would provide health and educational support to families.

This would be supported by “a new army of youth practitioners” tasked with identifying troubled adolescents, fostering constructive relationships, and guiding youth away from danger and toward success.

In addition, the report recommends that the government hold frequent COBRA meetings to combat violent violence.

It was recommended that the Department of Education be renamed the Department for Children, Schools, and Families, with new duties for protecting vulnerable children and combating severe abuse and exploitation.

The report also recommended a one-time £1 billion mental health rehabilitation project for children and young people, partially funded by a fee on social media corporations and mobile phone providers.


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