While Devon’s crime rate is quite low, the county has started experiencing gang activities that involved drugs and violence. There have also been reports of high profile incidents like robbery and killings in other places involving youth gangs. These reports urged the South Devon police to think of a new way to help prevent crimes in their area.
To answer this concern, parents from South Devon have worked with the police and youth groups to prevent crimes that may involve teens and gangs. Parents communicate and share information if there is any untoward event involving children in gangs. The child’s parent may then go to the location and take their kid home. According to the police, teens tend to be more embarrassed if a parent, especially their mum, shows up to reprimand them than a law enforcer confronting their unruly actions.
This initiative was started when a group of teens was given an order about their gang activities. The gang was prohibited from certain areas in South Devon including the Victoria Gardens, the Market Walk Shopping Center, and Asda. According to the community safety and safeguarding Manager of the South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership, Becca Hewitt, two groups have already been formed in Teignbridge and Newton Abbot. The group in Teignbridge started a month ago with 6 parents. The Newton Abbot group is already in action for almost a year and has 9 mums. Both groups are supported by the local police, youth support groups, and other agencies. More parents have also responded and have shown interest in joining the groups soon.
Hewitt also pointed out that by getting the parents involved, the possibility of preventing the youth from joining gangs and committing crimes are now lower. She also said that children should not be labeled as criminals as they are prone to exploitation.