On 9th September Anne Longfield, former Children’s Commissioner launched a commission to halt the ‘conveyor belt’ of vulnerable children falling into the hands of gangs and criminals.
The commission will work with those spearheading positive change throughout the country to design a new national system to prevent children becoming involved in county lines and gangs.
Launched amid a Covid pandemic, the Commission has warned that criminals have gained the upper hand, over the last eighteen months, leaving thousands more already vulnerable children at risk of exploitation.
Speaking about her appointment Bianca, Associate Solicitor commented: “I am so pleased to have been invited to join the expert panel. Polling carried out by Public First for the Commissions of parents in England with children aged 5 to 18 highlights concerns around the impact of knife crime, gangs and drugs on their children. So, I’m keen to play my part in helping to devise a new and achievable national system of support, focused on preventing crisis and improving opportunities of vulnerable children at risk of getting into trouble with the law.”
The ‘Commission on Young Lives’ is hosted and supported by the Oasis Charitable Trust, who will soon begin running the first Ministry of Justice secure school – a ground-breaking therapeutic model for children in custody.
Oasis has decades of experience of working in and with communities, empowering families and vulnerable children, and already deliver housing, education, healthcare, training, youth work, family support and many other initiatives. Currently they work with young people in 42 local neighbourhoods in England and are responsible for 30,000 students in 53 schools, often in challenging communities.
The Commission also includes a national panel of experts and leaders with personal and professional insight and understanding of the issues and impact on the lives of young people and communities, and with extensive experience of delivering change in communities, services and in government. Other panel members include Baroness Louise Casey, Rev. Steve Chalke (Founder of Oasis), Junior Smart (Founder of the ‘SOS Project’ at St. Giles Trust), Martin Hewitt (Chair of the national Police Chiefs Council) and Kendra Houseman (Founder of ‘Out of the Shadows’).
Bianca St Prix is an experienced police station representative regularly advising young people when interviewed under caution. Her expertise covers various criminal offences including drugs, sexual offences and murder. She remains dedicated to representing vulnerable and young people regardless of the alleged offices they may be facing.