Funding secured to help protect more young women and girls in Milton Keynes from serious violence

    MK Council, in partnership with Thames Valley Police, has successfully bid for national funding.

    The Home Office funding will be used to safeguard more vulnerable young women and girls at risk of harm from gangs and serious violence.

    With more than than £110,000 expected over three years, the money will be used boost a new specialist team.

    The new team is currently being set up by Milton Keynes Council with the focus on understanding and preventing local young people from being exposed to serious harm and criminal exploitation. 

    An additional team member can now be recruited to expand the team’s work with young women and girls.  

    Nationally and locally, young men are more likely to be identified as being vulnerable for exploitation and are also more likely to be referred for support from authorities.

    However, there is a growing understanding of the risks for female teenagers in particular becoming involved in and exploited by gangs, which means they can be put at risk of serious violence. 

    Councillor Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “All children have the right to be safe, healthy and to explore their independence as they grow older. Most children are not involved in gangs, but we know that the lives of the frequently vulnerable children who do join gangs can be traumatic and violent.

    "We will keep working alongside our partners to find increasingly sophisticated ways to fight back against the risks of harm and exploitation on behalf of our young people.” 

    Superintendent Marc Tarbit, Commander for Milton Keynes policing area, said: “The harm that young women and girls can be exposed to through gangs and groups involved in criminal activity cannot be underestimated.

    "The support to protect them and offer them ways out of exploitation requires a different perspective to that for young men and boys caught up in a similar lifestyle.” 

    “We welcome this funding allows us to further develop our partnership work with a focus on protecting young women and girls across Milton Keynes and diverting them away from risk and exploitation.” 

    This latest safeguarding boost comes just after the Council and the wider Safer MK Partnership secured almost £750,000 of national funding into a multi-agency programme to make streets safer for women and girls.

    "The programme includes CCTV and lighting upgrades along popular pedestrian routes. 

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