Gangs, violence and exploitation

What is the GVEU and why was it set up?

Councils across London have seen a rise in gang-related activity. H&F Council formed the Gangs, violence and exploitation unit (GVEU) in September 2020 to support vulnerable young people in Hammersmith & Fulham.

The GVEU is a non-statutory service made up of council professionals and H&F Council-funded police officers. Together, we are working to:

  • Identify young people at risk of becoming involved in gang activity or exploitation
  • Provide effective early-intervention strategies to vulnerable children, young people & their families
  • Offer long-term support & guidance to young people that helps them transition safely away from gang association
  • Identify, disrupt & enforce against specific gangs
  • Provide support for victims

Who does the GVEU help?

The GVEU is here to support young people, their families and the community. We work with young people aged 10-25 who are involved in gang-related activity. We also support young people who are at risk of exploitation or becoming involved in gangs.

How does the GVEU help?

The GVEU’s work is built on five core principles:

  1. Prevention – we act to reduce incidents of violence & prevent the exploitation of young people by targeting those involved in gangs & exploitation.
  2. Early-intervention – we work with the statutory, non-statutory & third sector partners to divert young people away from gang-activity & exploitation.
  3. Participation – we engage with young people to identify how we can design our services to offer positive opportunities and help them best.
  4. Community Support – we ensure families & community groups have the help they need to tackle gang-related violence and exploitation.
  5. Community Resilience – we work with the community & the third sector to build an anti-violence culture.

Our Outreach Workers provide one-to-one support to young people, their families and the community. The GVEU collaborates with local schools & colleges, youth services and other partners to provide a broad spectrum of support, from employment coaching to help with mental health.

How do I get in touch?

The GVEU is not an emergency service. Call the police on 999 if you have immediate concern for the wellbeing of a child or young person.

Please contact the GVEU if you have concerns about, or are affected by: 

  • gang-related activity
  • criminal exploitation (including knife crime and drug dealing)
  • sexual exploitation

Email our team: gveu@lbhf.gov.uk

Call our duty line (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri): 020 8753 3131

Where can I find extra help?

H&F Council support

Anti-social behaviour unit

Third sector support

NSPCC (National Society to Prevent Cruelty to Children) – Information, advice and resources for young people, parents and professionals around child abuse, gangs and other forms of exploitation. Call the 24/7 phoneline: 0808 800 5000. Email: help@nspcc.org.uk

Crimestoppers – Report a crime that has already happened 100% anonymously at 0800 555 111 or on their website. Online resources on keeping safe are also available.

Fearless – A safe place for children and young people to report or give information about any crime online – 100% anonymously, and also access non-judgmental information and advice about crime and criminality. Use the contact form online.

Victim Support – A national charity which provides free and confidential support and respect to people affected by crime or traumatic events. Call: 0808 168 9291 (8am-8pm, Mon-Sun) or 0808 168 911 (out of hours). Support can also be found online.

Women & Girls Network – Free and confidential counselling, advice, helpline and advocacy services and support to girls affected by violence and abuse. Call: 0808 801 0660.

Resilience – Local, community-based wellbeing services to help young people make positive changes to issues around drug and alcohol use. Call: 020 8740 6815.

Violence Intervention Project – A local charity which provides support to young people who are at risk of, or involved in, Serious Youth Violence. Call: 0800 130 3421 or make a referral online.