Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to understanding, and responding to, young people’s experiences of significant harm beyond their families. It recognises that the different relationships that young people form in their communities, schools and online can feature different contextual needs dependent on their geography, age, identity and other variables. Effective safeguarding means having a knowledge of these societal contexts to reduce danger and harm to children.
According to UK Crime Stats, anti-social behaviour in Westminster is the most commonly reported crime consistently throughout the final quarter of 2020:
Anti-social behaviour can have strong links to gang related violence, one of the contextual needs of schools in the Borough. Westminster estimates as many as 10 prolific well-known gangs operate across the Borough, using a process called grooming to lure children into gangs and gang related activity. Frequently, gangs recruit young children as couriers of drugs transportation across London, commonly known as ‘county lines’. Children are also encouraged to engage as money mules; “Deets” is slang for bank details and a “Square” is a credit or debit card. Young people are becoming ‘money mules’ by handing over their bank details to fraudsters in exchange for money, making them accessories to the fraudsters’ crime. Pimlico Academy are aware of these vulnerabilities in the area and work to educate students against the threat of gangs and gang related activity. More information on these areas, and about Westminster’s Integrated Gangs and Exploitation Unit, can be found at:
Pimlico Academy also understands the poverty some families are subjected to in the area. Lack of food, neglect, homelessness and unemployment are all factors which can mean a family’s basic standard of living is compromised.
Families who are in additional need should alert the academy, but can also find refuge through the Borough’s food bank provision: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/westminster-foodbank/
Students who continually appear as suffering from neglect, or hardship, will be referred to the multi-agency external network for additional support and care.