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Young People: Crime

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to discourage young people in deprived areas from becoming associated with criminal activity. (249847)

The Youth Crime Action Plan, published in July 2008, set out the Government's plans for tackling offending by young people. It detailed our plans for a 'triple track' approach of tough enforcement, non-negotiable help and support, and early intervention and prevention. It also states our ambition to reduce the rate of young people entering the criminal justice system by one fifth by 2020. This is supported by close to £100 million over the next three years, in addition to the existing investment in children's and youth services, to support local authorities in making inroads into youth crime locally. This funding is weighted towards areas facing higher levels of crime, antisocial behaviour, fear and deprivation.

The Youth Crime Action Plan builds on the already significant investment committed to programmes aimed at preventing young people's involvement in criminal activity in deprived areas. Key examples of this are the almost £700 million we are spending in 2008-11 to help young people take part in structured positive activities and to improve facilities in deprived areas through the Positive Activities for Young People and Myplace programmes.

In addition, the Youth Justice Board are investing £33 million per year through Youth Offending Teams to deliver targeted prevention programmes such as youth inclusion programmes (YIPs), youth inclusion and support panels (YISPs) and parenting programmes. These are focussed on areas of highest need and many programmes operate in some of the most deprived areas of England and Wales.