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Crime Prevention

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken to reduce crime in and around schools in (a) England and (b) Enfield. (186999)

Nationally, the Government are committed to improving the life chances of children and young people, by having fewer young people affected by crime and reduce youth victimisation.

The main initiative to tackle crime on and around school premises has been the Safer School Partnerships (SSPs) originally launched in 2002.

SSPs are a successful mechanism for ensuring structured joint working between schools and police, to identify and support children and young people regarded as being at high risk of victimisation, offending and social exclusion. There are now about 500 SSPs of one form or another across the country. Evaluations have shown that they are proving effective in improving behaviour and attendance, developing strong and positive relationships between the police and young people, and to help young people develop a sense of being part of the local community.

Because of the proven success of SSPs, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has been working closely with the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Youth Justice Board (YJB) to encourage more schools and police to engage in this type of early intervention and preventative work which is so vital to achieving the outcomes we are all committed to.

There is already a great deal of work going on across Government to tackle offenders and help vulnerable young people achieve the Every Child Matters outcome to ‘Stay Safe’. Initiatives include Youth Inclusion Support Panels and the Youth Inclusion Programme. And since 2004, we have invested over £45 million in Youth Offending Teams which have pioneered antisocial behaviour prevention activities for young people at most risk. Their work includes:

Youth Inclusion Support Panels and;

Youth Inclusion Programmes.

The Home Office has invested in other prevention programmes such as Positive Futures. Around 22,000 young people are currently involved in Positive Futures projects nationwide.

In Enfield there are numerous schemes available to support and divert young people from crime and disorder which contribute to reducing crime in and around schools.

Enfield has the largest secondary school population in London, including 11 per cent. of pupils who travel into the borough to attend school and as a result, it has one of the largest Safer Schools teams in the Met. This ensures that every secondary school in the borough has a dedicated officer. This team also runs activities in the half term and holidays for youth diversion purposes.

Through the Enfield Strategic Partnership, the borough secured the funding for a dedicated Police Youth Inspector and Sergeant to co-ordinate Youth Activity across the borough. It also has Safer Neighbourhood Teams who run youth clubs, boxing clubs and football clubs.

The Youth Offending Service (YOS) runs the YISP—Youth Inclusion Support Panel—scheme that all bodies can refer into for eight to 17-year-olds. There is also the Kickz project run jointly by the Football Foundation (Spurs) and Metropolitan Police in one part of the borough and very soon there will be a second site. On top of this, Enfield uses LAA funding (previously) Safer and Stronger Communities Funding to provide various youth diversion and enforcement activities (e.g. knife arch purchases, youth diversion work, funding for boxing, judo, clubs, street pastors and so on).