Charity issues guidance to schools in England and Wales for spotting far-right extremism  

  • A charity has issued guidance to schools about spotting far-right extremism over fears that an increased number of children have been exposed to dangerous ideas during lockdown 
  • Hope Not Hate has sent the safeguarding guide to every school in England and Wales, in time for the planned full return of schools in England on 8 March 
  • The handbook is aimed at helping teachers spot signs of far-right influence after the charity’s researchers noticed that those harbouring and promoting extremist views are increasingly younger 
  • Earlier this month, a teenage leader of a neo-Nazi group was convicted for terrorism offences that began aged 13 
  • According to the anti-racism charity, social media and smartphones means children are more at risk of being exposed to extremist material than ever before, particularly with more time spent online during the pandemic 
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                Police make large scale arrests in West Mercia County Lines crackdown  

                • A two-week period last month saw police target areas in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire 
                • Heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and cannabis were seized during the operation, along with more than £35,000 in cash, 20 mobile phones and weapons including knives and an imitation handgun 
                • West Mercia Police officers visited ‘cuckooed’ homes believed to be used and exploited by drug dealers 
                • The police force confirmed that they identified and safeguarded vulnerable people at risk of being exploited 
                • Officers also engaged in education activity with fast food outlets, care homes, schools, local authorities, petrol stations and travel hubs across the counties 
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                • To learn more about Child Criminal Exploitation, read our recent article here 
                • To book your place on our upcoming training: ‘An Introduction to County Lines’, select here 

                Child mental health waiting times described as ‘deeply disturbing’ 

                      • More than 1,500 children with mental health problems had waited a year or more for specialist help by the end of 2020, according to official statistics 
                      • In December 2019 the number of young people waiting longer than 52 weeks for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) stood at 589 
                      • Campaigners said the statistics were “deeply disturbing” and the sector was in crisis before Covid 
                      • Mental health minister Clare Haughey described long waits as “unacceptable” 
                      • For the full story, select here 


                          Girls doing more housework than boys during lockdown  

                          • Girls and young women aged between 14 and 24 are taking responsibility for the majority of household chores during the pandemic, leaving them less time to focus on their education, according to a new survey produced by a market research agency for the children’s charity Theirworld 
                          • Sixty-six percent of girls and women aged between 14 and 24 said they are spending more time cooking for their families as a result of the pandemic, compared with 31% of boys and men in the same age group 
                          • Women and girls are also spending more time cleaning (69%, compared with 58% of boys and men), shopping (52%, compared with 49%), and looking after siblings (28%, compared with 16%), according to a survey of 1,000 men and women aged 14-30  
                          • “There are reports that women’s equality could be pushed back by up to 10 years by the pandemic and this is a stark reminder that the fight for gender equality is ongoing,” said Sarah Brown, the chair of Theirworld 
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