Politicians must get away from “knee-jerk” policies
on youth crime, the Conservative spokesperson for young people said
today, writes Maria Ahmed.
Speaking at a parliamentary briefing organised by Community
Care, Conservative MP Charles Hendry said the current debate
on crime centred on “yobs” and put young people
“in real danger”.
Hendry said: “We must not lose sight of the fact that young
people are more likely to be young victims of crime than
He also criticised the media for producing an “endless stream
of headlines saying young people are criminals”.
Hendry, who was chairing Community Care’s briefing
on youth crime in Westminster today, called for a “dramatic
shift” towards rehabilitation in the youth justice
Professor John Pitts, a youth crime expert, also suggested more
measures to de-criminalise early intervention for young people at
risk of offending. He said the government needed to “get to
grips with diversion”.
Organisations including NCH and the Youth Justice Board called for
a rethink in the way the youth justice system was organised,
placing children’s services at the centre of the