Delyn MP David Hanson has backed the Government’s new Youth Action Plan to get young people off the streets late at night, to offer intensive support for the most problematic families and to set out more visible Community Payback sentences for young people.
Over the past ten years, significant resources have been invested in tackling youth offending and improving outcomes for young people. This has delivered:
· A 17.4 percent fall in the number of re-offences committed between 2000 and 2005;
· The average time from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders has been halved from 142 days in 1997 to 58 days in April this year, ensuring swifter justice for more young people and their victims.
Overall youth crime remains stable but challenges remain particularly around alcohol-related crime, delinquent peer groups and gangs and young people carrying knives. Each year around 100,000 young people aged 10 -17 enter the criminal justice system for the first time. The new Action Plan aims to reduce this rate by one fifth by 2020 and in turn to substantially reduce the number of young victims.
The £100 million Youth Crime Action Plan sets out a comprehensive package of tough enforcement and intensive prevention measures as well as more support for parents to tackle offending and reduce re-offending.
It will support families with the most entrenched and complex problems in all areas of England and will also offer an intensive programme of action for priority areas where the problem of youth crime is greatest.
David Hanson said:
“I welcome this new action plan which will help communities to offer up a range of activities to keep young people occupied, but also offers tough enforcement and a clear sentencing policy for those that do offend.
“The package announced today offers over £100 million of investment in order to help reduce youth crime. There will be better prevention and support for victims, an expansion of youth centres and other activities at times when young people are likely to offend, including Friday and Saturday nights;
“There will also be tough enforcement, using safeguarding legislation to remove at-risk children and young people from the streets late at night, greater use of existing police enforcement tactics,; new police enforcement tactics to ensure visible patrols during after-school hours; and, street-based teams of youth workers and ex-gang members to tackle groups of young people involved in crime and disorder.
“For a small number of young people that commit serious crimes, custody is the answer. However, one aim of the new Action Plan is to divert young people away from crime, so that they are not unnecessarily drawn into the criminal justice system.”
Responding to a knife crime incident at Flint Skate Park earlier this week, David Hanson added:
“There is no place for knife crime, in Flint or anywhere else in the country. I will be working with North Wales police to ensure that where incidents of violence crime occur they are dealt with swiftly and the perpetrators are brought to justice. There are tough laws in place and we must send out a clear signal that knife crime is not acceptable.”