Star comment: We applaud efforts to tackle young gangs

Midlands-based unit is tackling the problem head on.

People living in urban areas of the West Midlands can see evidence of young gangs, through graffiti on walls marking territory, to seeing groups moving together through the streets.

Those in more rural areas may feel they are immune from crime involving young people. But they are also targeted, through county lines gangs in which young teenagers are sent into leafy towns to deal hard drugs.

The rise in violence among young people has long been identified as a problem by the police, and patrols have been stepped up in some areas in recent weeks.

Today the Crown Prosecution Service has revealed the work of its new Serious Violence, Organised Crime and Exploitation Unit. It is a first for the UK and is based in the West Midlands, covering the urban mass of the Black Country but also rural areas of Shropshire and Staffordshire.

It ensures complicated cases get to court when they need to but also offer help to young people caught up in gangs who themselves are often victims of being coerced into crime. It has seen success in the prosecution of a gang murder in Telford as well as many violent incidents of crime in the Black Country.

We should all be concerned about youth crime and the harm it does to society. And we should also applaud the pro-active approach of the CPS in our area to tackle the problem in our region.

Society puts in place safeguards so that a nefarious criminal minority does not cause chaos in areas populated by law-abiding citizens. None of us should have to tolerate the sort of atrocious activities that young gangs engage in and this will curtail some of them.

The importance of our Monarchy has been clearly illustrated this year. While our politics is too frequently divisive, our Head of State has been a force for good across 70 incredible years. The Queen has provided stability and a credible face on the international stage.

Prince William will be 40 tomorrow. The man who will one day become King is a relatively popular figure and he will follow in the footsteps of his father and his grandmother.

The importance of Royal figures who toe the line, who put service before self and who can connect with the wider population cannot be overstated.

It’s unlikely that any figure will ever surpass the remarkable achievements of the Queen, though Charles and William will both have to step up in the fullness of time. They will need to be unifying figures as they look to build on the incredible legacy of Elizabeth II.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News