The feature posed the question as to whether rural young people are more at risk from criminal gangs with the reducing youth support services.
Young people in the countryside face isolation, poor transport options and a lack of safe places to meet which can leave them vulnerable to being targeted by criminal gangs.
Rural Youth workers and support is vital for these young people, ensuring that they have a safe place to go.
However, years of funding cuts to youth services in rural areas are now having an impact, leaving our rural young people at more risk of harm.
The programme reports that ‘The amount spent on youth work for 11-19 years olds in rural England is 24% less than in urban areas’ (source National Youth Agency).’
Rural young people are being targeted where gangs are developing new drug dealing networks between the cities and rural areas, known as ‘county lines’.
The programme stated that ‘Unless funding starts flowing into rural areas, then the first lines of defence in criminal exploitation of children, will be lost.’
To view the programme that featured this story click below:
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