Crime research by an expert from the University of Suffolk has won him and his co-author an international award.
Dr Paul Andell, Associate Professor of Criminology at the University has been given the award for his research into criminal child exploitation involved in the County Lines drugs phenomenon and modern slavery.
Awarding the prize to Dr Andell and his co-author, Professor John Pitts, is the American Society of Criminology’s Rural Crime Division International Society.
The prize is for an outstanding contribution for engagement in policy and practice for our work on County Lines, modern slavery and Child Criminal Exploitation.
The research highlighted the criminal exploitation of vulnerable children and young people involved with County Lines drug networks and has shaped policy and practices at local and national levels, underpinning new approaches in professional practices, training and strategies in child and adolescent safeguarding regarding those groomed into criminal and sexual exploitation in drug markets.
The research served as a catalyst for change in preventing the violent and sexual victimisation of vulnerable gang-affected young people.
As a direct result of Dr Andell’s work commissioned by Suffolk County Council, an additional £2million was committed to safeguard children and to disrupt illicit drug distribution networks in the county.
Nationally, the work has significantly shifted official ‘best practice’ guidance and training for front-line professionals.
“This change is significant in that it has meant that issues of violence, sexual victimisation and child trafficking are now better recognised as more as a child protection issue, rather than just as an issue for criminal justice,” said Dr Andell.
The pair are also co-editors of the forthcoming Palgrave Handbook of Youth Gangs in the UK due for publication early 2023. https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-palgrave-handbook-of-youth-gangs-in-the-uk/paul-andell/john-pitts/9783030996574
University of Suffolk Press Office