Topics for this month:

Knife crime in the North West

An ITV news investigation reported this month, that an average of 17 serious crimes are committed with a knife, in the North West every single day. It is important that we are all aware of the risks of knife crime and we raise awareness of the issues.

The ‘Knife Free’ website is a very informative website that helps people to live knife free; provides suggestions on what people can be doing with their time; support available; and real case studies and stories from those who have been affected by knife crime, whether it was due to them carrying a knife themselves, or whether they have been a victim of knife crime.

Legal consequences:

  • Carrying a knife can mean 4 years in prison, even if it is not used
  • You can get a criminal record for carrying a knife
  • Carrying an offensive weapon, like a knife, is a serious offence and carrying it for self-protection is not a defence

Emotional consequences:

  • Carrying a knife doesn’t just have an impact on you; it can affect your family and friends too
  • No parent/grandparent would ever want to see their child injured, go to prison or be killed
  • It will also impact on your family such as brothers or sisters, if carrying a knife leads you to having serious injuries or losing your life

Personal consequences:

  • Carry a weapon and it could be used against you
  • Employers may be less likely to employ someone with a criminal record
  • Countries such as the USA and Canada may not allow someone with a criminal record in, even just on holiday

Other facts:

  • 99% of young people aged 10-29 do not carry a knife
  • People who carry a weapon are more likely to be hospitalised with an injury caused by violence
  • There is no ‘safe place’ to stab someone – any stab can be fatal – and the consequences will be just as severe

Join millions of young people who live #knifefree. Visit for more information. If you have been a victim of knife crime and would like support, please talk to JTM’s safeguarding lead, the safeguarding team, or visit ‘Victim Support’ who support children and young people who have been affected by crime:

County Lines

County Lines is a term used for organised illegal drug-dealing networks, usually controlled by a person using a single telephone number or ‘deal line’. They operate out of major UK cities such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham, and they distribute illegal drugs across rural and suburban counties via ‘runners’.

Vulnerable children and adults are recruited as runners to transport drugs and cash all over the country, so that the criminals behind it can remain detached and less likely to be detected. This crime is often associated with other serious crimes such as sexual exploitation, violence, money laundering and human trafficking.

There are several signs to look out for when someone has been lured into this activity; these include:

  • Change in behaviour
  • Signs of assault and/or malnutrition
  • Access to numerous phones
  • Use of unusual terms e.g. going country
  • Associating with gangs
  • Unexplained bus or train tickets
  • School truancy or going missing
  • Unexplained gifts (clothes, trainers) and cash

What happens?

Criminal gangs establish a base in a particular location, sometimes by taking over the homes of local vulnerable adults by force or coercion in a practice referred to as ‘cuckooing’. They then target vulnerable local children and adults to become involved in selling drugs through a process of grooming. Once someone is involved with a criminal gang, it becomes difficult for them to escape.

What’s ‘cuckooing’?

Criminals running County Lines will set up a base in a rural area or small town for a short time, taking over the home of a vulnerable person, ‘cuckooing’ them (named after the cuckoo’s practice of taking over other birds’ nests for its young).

Victims of ‘cuckooing’ are often drug users but can include older people, those suffering from mental or physical health problems, female sex workers, single mums and those living in poverty. Victims may suffer from other forms of addiction, such as alcoholism.

Some people may be forced to leave their homes, making themselves homeless and leaving the gangs free to sell drugs in their absence.

What are the signs of cuckooing?

Signs that cuckooing may be going on at a property include:

  • An increase in people entering and leaving
  • An increase in cars or bikes outside 
  • Possible increase in anti-social behaviour 
  • Increasing litter outside
  • Signs of drugs use
  • Lack of healthcare visitors
  • Suspicious vehicles or people at an address
  • A neighbour has not been seen for a while, or they are more distance than usual (with more visitors)
  • Short term or holiday lets – unusual activity
  • Older member of the community unexpectedly driving around unknown individuals

Resources: We have attached a JTM edited Home Office poster that is to be used by staff with learners and employers, in order to be aware of the signs of county lines and to know what reporting processes to follow. Click here for the county lines poster

Children’s Mental Health Week: 3rd – 9th February 2020

The theme of this years’ children’s mental health week is ‘Find your Brave’ which is run by the children’s mental health charity Place2Be. Life often throws challenges our way. Bravery isn’t about coping alone or holding things in, it’s about finding positive ways to deal with things that might be difficult, overcoming physical and mental challenges and looking after yourself.

We have attached resources to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, as well as helpful top tips for parents and carers. Click here to view these resources
Click here to view information on metal health and well being

Safer Internet Day: 11th February 2020

Safer Internet Day aims to inspire a national conversation about using technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.  Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet. 

The UK Safer Internet Centre are a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL, with one mission – to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people. In 2019, Safer Internet Day reached 46% of young people aged 8-17 and 26% of parents and UK Safer Internet Centre invite everyone to join them, and Safer Internet Day supporters across the globe, to help create a better internet on Tuesday 11th February 2020 and throughout the whole year. 

JTM will be registering as a supporter of Safer Internet Day and will be spreading the word across our social media on the day. Please keep a look out on our Blog for very interesting information produced by Sean, our Digital Marketing Apprentice, which will be published on the day!


The streaming service has made changes to its site to protect children after the company was fined almost $200 million for breaking the Childhood Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), laws which protect children online. As part of the new measures, targeted ads will be banned from children’s videos as well as push notifications and comments.

The video sharing service said these changes will have a “significant business impact” on creators who make videos for children because they will no longer be making any money from targeted adverts. It is feared that could mean some popular YouTubers might decide to stop making child-friendly content. However, the company says it will increase promotion for its app YouTube Kids, which filters out content that isn’t suitable for children. The app was launched by YouTube in 2015 and removes many of the features that are available on the main site.

Anyone watching a video that’s been specifically made for children will now be protected as a viewer under the age of 13, despite their actual age. In March 2019 the site announced it would be switching off comments on almost all videos featuring under-18s, in an attempt to “better protect children and families”.

Several brands have stopped advertising on YouTube after discovering inappropriate or upsetting comments were being made on some videos.

Fake News:

How can fake news impact children and young people?

  • It can lead children and young people to believe something about the world that can have a negative impact on their wellbeing
  • Fake news sometimes may target minority groups and spread hate which can have real world consequences
  • It can cause children to be confused about what they see online and anxious about being misled to believe something that isn’t true

Internet matters have produced a fake news, facts and questions guide, providing the information that parents need to know when talking to children and young people.

It can be downloaded from:

7 minute Briefings:

Hate Crime: is defined as; any hate incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hostility.” In most crimes, it is something the victim has in their possession or control that motivates the offender to commit the crime. With hate crime it is ‘who’ the victim is, or ‘what’ the victim appears to be that motivates the offender to commit the crime. A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on hate crime from Lancashire Constabulary.

Domestic Abuse: is defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common and in the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial or economic abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on domestic abuse from the Salford Safeguarding Children Board.

Online Radicalisation: refers to the process by which an individual is groomed through the online environment to come to support terrorist or extremist ideologies. It is important to consider extremism in the context of the wider spectrum which could include far-right, environmental, Islamist or animal-rights extremism.

Online material used in the process may include articles, images, speeches or videos that promote terrorism or encourage violence. As with other forms of grooming, extremists will seek to exploit vulnerabilities in individuals that may include: unmet aspirations, identity crisis, perceived injustice/s or a sense of belonging in order to further their ideological aims.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on online radicalisation from Lancashire Safeguarding Boards.

‘Level of Need’ guidance: Understanding levels of need and how they relate to the support of identified needs is vital to providing a solid, integrated intervention that will help children and young people achieve to their full potential.

As the needs of children and young children change we must provide ‘the right intervention and help at the right time’. A smooth transition through the continuum is essential to support their journey from needing, to receiving the help and support they require. It is vital that children, young people and their families receive the support they need regardless of where they live or how accessible services are to them.

Please see attached the 7 minute briefing focusing on ‘level of need’ guidance from the Sefton Safeguarding Children Board.

Saf3net Training

Janine and Tom recently attended training focusing on online radicalisation. Please see attached useful information from the training.