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Published 12/06/2024

This review, entitled ‘Serious Youth Violence – Breaking the Cycle’, examines the lives of ten boys in the city; some were victims of fatal stabbings, and some were responsible for fatal attacks. All the boys were believed to have been involved with inner-city urban street gangs.

Most of the boys had suffered significant childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences. There was an absence of positive paternal role models in their lives and in some cases, the adult males that were present, encouraged, or condoned violence. Many of the boys were known to carry knives and had known other young males who had been murdered due to knife crime and gang affiliation. Significant disruption and breakdowns in their education were common, with repeated extensive use of fixed-term and permanent exclusions from school.

For almost all the boys, partnership intervention attempted to break the cycle and divert them from gang affiliation and criminal exploitation, however the pull of “Place” i.e. their local neighbourhood, meant they were still exposed to risks. There were missed opportunities to engage better with some of the boys at crisis points; these ‘reachable moments’ included when they had been excluded, stabbed, arrested, or returned home after being missing.

Are you looking to increase your knowledge and confidence in identifying child exploitation and responding effectively to protect young people?

Our Child Exploitation: Tackling CE Together in Birmingham training has spaces on the below dates:


Webinar: Serious Youth Violence – Breaking the Cycle