New team launched to help protect young people in East Herts
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As part of the national Neighbourhood Policing Week of Action, we are showcasing some of the great work our local Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) get involved with.
East Herts SNT is currently trialling a new initiative, aimed at protecting young people at risk of being drawn into criminality and child sexual exploitation (CSE).
The AIM team looks to identify those at risk and provide support and positive diversion at the earliest possible opportunity, using a multi-agency approach.
The team comprises a Safer Neighbourhood Team PC and two PCSOs. During the first six months, the initiative has proved a great success.
Sergeant Tom Prior, project leader for the AIM team, said: “Since launching the team has worked with more than 200 young people and has obtained Criminal Behaviour Orders and Community Protection Notices for those drawing others into crime, as well as securing convictions for possession of knives within school premises and other crimes.
“We are working with our partners including East Herts Council, Social Services, Youth Connections, schools and other third-party organisations to deliver bespoke interventions and target those at risk, or causing the most harm.”
The team was set up after it was recognised that crime and the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) involving young people was a real issue for East Herts.
East Herts Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Collins explained: “I wanted a team set up locally that could engage with young people and divert them away from criminality. The team liaise with all secondary schools, they know the teachers and more importantly, can identify those at risk, those drawn into crime or potential knife carriers.
“The team continues to grow and develop, providing a knowledge hub and creating best practice for dealing with interventions, reducing harm in our community, utilising a prevention first approach.”