Youth crime action plan shows promise

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Communities are seeing the benefits from the Government’s approach to youth crime, according to ministers.

The latest quarterly crime statistics showing a 34 per cent fall in homicide with a knife/sharp instrument across the country for all ages. This represents 100 homicides involving a knife/sharp instrument in Apr-Sept 2009  compared to 152 in Apr-Sept 2008. These statistics build on annual figures for 2008/09 which saw a 7 per cent drop in knife/sharp instrument homicides, compared with 2007/08.

The success of the Government’s flagship Youth Crime Action Plan (YCAP) has seen:

  • A 21.6 per cent decline in first-time young people entering the criminal justice system from 2007/08 to 2008/09
  • Continued decline in youth re-offending with a fall of 24.8 per cent from 2000 to 2008 from 151.4 to 113.9 offences per 100 offenders
  • Engaging over 300,000 young people with targeted support to help them back on track
  • The deployment of more than 15,000 specialist teams made up of youth workers, police and ex-offenders working with communities in the evenings to support and challenge young people in 69 areas worst affected by youth crime
  • Support and intervention for the country’s most challenging families through Family Intervention Projects.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "I know there are real problems in some of our communities with youth crime and anti-social behaviour, binge drinking and problem families. With Neighbourhood Policing Teams in every area committed to spending more time on the beat, and the expansion of Family Intervention Projects, street teams and youth activities on Friday and Saturday nights, we're supporting front line workers across the country to keep our communities safe.

Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls said: "The vast majority of young people want to be a force for good and work hard to make a positive difference in their lives and communities. This is reflected in the 35,000 young people who have joined our Count Me In campaign to put an end to knife crime.

"The small minority of young people who are determined to offend and cause problems in their communities are not let off lightly. This is clear from the progress we’ve made over the last two years.

"Reports of stronger police presence and fewer problems with anti-social behaviour show our action and investment has made a difference, particularly in the areas most affected by crime."

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