£300 million to cut youth crime and make streets safer

  • new ‘Turnaround’ scheme to catch troubled young people teetering on edge of criminality
  • up to 20,000 more children and young people to be helped over next 3 years

Thousands of troubled children and teenagers teetering on the edge of crime will be put back on the right track thanks to the largest youth justice funding boost in a generation – cutting crime and making streets safer.

Around 80 percent of prolific adult offenders begin committing crimes as children, and the estimated cost of late intervention to the economy is nearly £17 billion per year.

That’s why the government is making the biggest investment in a generation – worth £300 million over the next 3 years – to support every single council across England and Wales in catching and preventing youth offending earlier than ever, helping to stop these children and teenagers from moving on to further, more serious offending.

And for the first time ever, local authorities will be given specific cash to intervene early with teenagers displaying signs such as poor school attendance, troubles at home, and a history of substance abuse which are known to be factors which often drive young people into crime – so they can steer them away from law-breaking before an offence is even committed.

Through ‘Turnaround’, a new early intervention scheme backed by £60 million, local Youth Offending Teams will be given extra funding to connect children and teenagers to targeted, wraparound support to stop them going down a path of criminality.

This could include mentoring, extra school tuition, sports clubs, help to address any issues at school or at home, with their mental health or with substance misuse, tackling the root causes of their behaviour and helping them to get their lives back on track.

Funding will also be used to bolster the day-to-day running of youth justice schemes and initiatives across the country, as well as support the work of the 20,000 additional police officers the government is committed to recruiting.

As part of today’s news, the Deputy Prime Minister, Dominic Raab, visited a community boxing scheme in Blackpool that is giving local children and teenagers an alternative to anti-social behaviour, giving them skills such as discipline and teamwork, and steering them away from potential offending and back into education and training.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab said:
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> Diverting more young people from gangs, drugs and violence will make our streets safer.

So, we’re investing £300 million in preventative initiatives, to deter criminal behaviour.

Our plan will ensure thousands more young people can turn their lives around – which will transform their lives and make our communities safer.

Minister for Youth Justice Victoria Atkins said:

Youth offending is a destructive force that blights communities and rips families apart.

This vital new funding will help us stop youth crime in its tracks by ensuring these children stay in education and rebuild ties with their families, helping us build safer, more prosperous communities.

Youth Justice Board Chair Keith Fraser said:

This is a smart and insightful investment by the government. If our youth justice teams are well-resourced to help children and families, we all benefit – from healthier, happier, safer children and from safer communities with fewer victims.

This investment highlights the importance of their work and is a huge opportunity for youth justice teams across England and Wales. I hope they feel rightly proud of the contribution they make to the safety of communities and the lives of children.

Ministers estimate that the Turnaround programme will reach up to 20,000 more children over three years who would not otherwise have received support to turn away from offending.

While many local authorities already run successful early intervention programmes, by providing funding over a three-year period, councils will have greater certainty and be able to plan longer-term – ultimately steering more children and teenagers than ever away from crime.

Ministers will also set out plans in due course to improve how funding is targeted to local authorities, to ensure funding reaches areas who need it most and to ensure local authorities’ interventions are effective.

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