Former Birmingham Gang Member: We Need To Get Into Youths' Mindset

9 May 2019, 07:21 | Updated: 9 May 2019, 07:34


A former gang member from Birmingham has told Heart that in order to tackle the rise in violence, we need to understand how young people are thinking.

We've been speaking to Simeon Moore after two serious shootings in the West Midlands in the last week.

On Monday, a 16 year-old boy was shot in the head in the Pennfields area of Wolverhampton.

Just two days later in Birmingham, a 23 year-old man was shot dead in Ladywood. No arrests have been made in connection with that shooting so far.

Simeon used to be a member of the notorious 'Johnson Crew' in Aston as a youth, and told us there needs to be an holistic approach to tackling violence.


This comes as plans are announced for children at risk of being targeted by gangs or violent crime to get additional support from a new Government programme.

Youngsters in danger of criminal or sexual exploitation will have access to specialists across education, health, social care, police and the voluntary sector, the Department for Education (DfE) announced.

The Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme offers every area in England help in tackling a range of threats such as gangs, county lines drug dealing, online grooming, sexual exploitation, trafficking or modern slavery.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "Being safe at school and having a stable home life is the best form of protection for the children as they grow up - but we know that those who are the most vulnerable, are the most at risk of exploitation from those who want to take advantage of them.

"We are all united in cracking down on those who try to lead vulnerable young people down a dangerous path, and the threats they face are multiple and complex.

"We must make sure that we work together and this new approach to better support teachers, police and health professionals will improve the expertise and guidance available to all those who care for and educate young people."

Councils can apply for support from the £2 million scheme to tackle specific threats in their area.