Grace Robinson – Gangs Researcher

Grace presents her highly informative research on Child Exploitation and County Lines.

Grace decided to undertake this research following discussion with various Merseyside Police and front line child intervention support staff, who voiced concerns about the growing numbers of young children being brought into the criminal justice system. This highlighted a clear connection with drug dealing ie those caught in possession with intent to supply.

Over the subsequent 2 years Grace met with many young people involved in gang related activities and explored this issue in detail.

In this revealing research project Grace discusses how and why certain young people are getting involved, their backgrounds, the societal issues that contribute to their exploitation and the unsafe environments that they are being exposed to.

Grace talks about the fact that many do not fully appreciate the exploitation and level of risk that is involved, often until it is too late. Frequently subjected to degrading acts, these young people are exposed to personal abuse, threats of violence to themselves and other members of their families.

Whilst victims on many levels, Grace also asks when that line is crossed and the perception becomes one of perpetrator rather than victim.

Like many others, Grace concludes that the current UK drug policy has failed and calls for reform to sever the damaging link between organised crime groups that are driving drug supply in the UK and their exploitation of young and vulnerable people.

Grace Robinson Graduate Teaching Assistant

Grace is a highly informed PhD candidate, who graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a degree in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice (BSc); she also has a Masters in Criminal Justice. Grace’s research interests include: gangs, Child Criminal Exploitation, County Lines, illicit drug markets and youth crime. Using Merseyside as a case study, she is researching gang-involved young people and Child Criminal Exploitation.

Grace is involved in a number of interventions across Merseyside aimed at reducing gangs and gang crime. She consults with Merseyside Police and is on the board of directors for the Lewis Dunne Foundation (LDF); a charity developed specifically to help young people desist from crime and gang involvement in Merseyside.

Grace is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


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