Government at loss with youth crime - County

June 3, 2008 12:00 AM
Gaynor Griffiths

Cllr Gaynor Griffiths

Government is failing to deal with youth crime in an appropriate way says County Councillor Gaynor Griffiths.

An internal report published by the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) shows that the Government's strategy on youth crime has failed and that reoffending rates are still as high as they were 10 years ago.

Cllr Griffiths, the Liberal Democrat Spokes for Children and Young People, commented:

"This report mirrors what we have been saying about the lack of welfare support after custodial sentences. Accommodation, training and support must be there afterwards and, right now, nothing acceptable is offered.

"The parents' guide is a good initiative but it's not enough. Criminalising children just for the sake of it is pointless and will not help them see the error of their ways. I'm shocked to see that the Government is willing to lock young people up without providing any follow-up when they are released.

"This is more evidence that we need to focus on restorative justice and not punitive justice. The Government doesn't understand why young people are likely to reoffend and is not doing anything to prevent it. And sadly, the situation is exacerbated by the County Council's underspending on youth services."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1) The report says that almost 25% of young people under 18 have committed an offence and that reoffending rates are 'very high and have not significantly changed' since 1997.

2) Cllr Griffiths is available at 07889 039 229.

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