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Youth Offending (Wirral)

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

15. What steps his Department has taken to reduce rates of youth offending in Wirral in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (295140)

A recent inspection of youth offending services in Wirral found that there was much more work to be done to reduce reoffending rates. Could my right hon. Friend tell me what work his Department is doing with the Ministry of Justice to see that that takes place?

There are a range of things. I refer my hon. Friend to the youth crime action plan in particular, whereby we are putting in place measures that include Friday and Saturday night activity on the streets, help and support for young people, and interventions for particularly difficult and challenging families. That is part of the resource that we have allocated to Wirral in the past 18 months. The programme is designed to prevent individuals from getting involved in crime in the first place, but we also need strong enforcement and action in the courts to help prevent them from going further once they come into contact with the system.