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Youth Matters (Expenditure)

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

The hon. Gentleman asks in general terms how much was spent on youth matters. Reducing youth crime and improving the criminal justice system for young people is a central part of the Government’s effort to build safer communities, and action is planned for that.

However, if he is asking about such things as the Law Officers’ youth network, which encourages understanding and respect for the rule of law and the criminal justice system, I can tell him that in the past 12 months, it has cost just over £4,500. In addition, the Crown Prosecution Service has spent almost £86,000 on a national schools project, with a similar information motive.

Is there a danger that police officers spend too much time doing youth work that should really be provided by professional youth workers?

The hon. Gentleman would be asking me only for a view about that, because the police are not my responsibility. My constituency engagement tells me that police are very usefully involved in talking in schools, and they are sometimes even posted at schools for a while and have regular liaison with them, but I doubt they go beyond the four corners of their responsibilities and try to give people counselling and advice. I am not sure anything is going wrong, but he should take the matter up with the Home Office if he is worried.