£1.4m to tackle criminal exploitation in Suffolk

Suffolk Public Sector Leaders have awarded £1.4m to tackle criminal exploitation in Suffolk

Suffolk Public Sector Leaders have agreed unanimously to award £1.4m in funding towards tackling criminal exploitation in the county.

The group – which includes both Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils’ leaders – agreed the funding to support several new initiatives by the Safer Stronger Communities Board (SSCB).

Criminal exploitation includes a broad series of inter-related issues, including crimes involving drugs, violence, modern slavery, missing persons, and ‘home grown’ drug dealing.

By working in partnership as part of a multi-agency approach, the aim is to prevent young and vulnerable people from being drawn into criminal exploitation, support those already entangled to exit safely, and enforce a zero-tolerance policy against those committing associated crimes.

Councillor Neil MacDonald, Chair of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders, said:

“The Safer Stronger Communities Board (SSCB) continues to work tirelessly to create safe environments for everyone in Suffolk.  With the current programme coming to an end in March 2024, this next round of funding will support an extension of efforts through to 2027, which is essential to build on the great work that has already been delivered.”

Councillor Bobby Bennett, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities, and chair of the Safer Stronger Communities Board, said:

“The £1.4m investment agreed by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders will support a countywide programme of work to tackle criminal exploitation across Suffolk. 
Criminal exploitation is a complex and serious issue that is not unique to Suffolk and sadly it remains a constant threat to our young people, our vulnerable adults, and our communities.
We recognise the importance of tackling complex issues as a whole system. The new programme of work is rooted in early identification and intervention, which crucially allows interaction and engagement from organisations across the whole of Suffolk, be it voluntary, public or private sector. It is designed so that we have the greatest reach possible to anyone and everyone who can play their part in helping to tackle the issue.”

Person being arrested