Funding boost for crime prevention work

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Initiatives aimed at preventing children and young people from offending will be given a cash boost of more than £45m, the Youth Justice Board has revealed.

The money, to be spent over the next three years, will be allocated to local youth offending teams to extend the work of Youth Inclusion and Support Panels (YISPs) and Youth Inclusion Programmes (YIPs).

YISPs are multi-agency panels that aim to prevent antisocial behaviour and offending by 8- to 13-year-olds who are considered to be at high risk of offending by ensuring they and their families can access mainstream public services.

YIPs are tailor-made programmes for 13- to 16-year-olds who are engaged in crime or are identified as being most at risk of offending, truancy of social exclusion and give young people the chance to learn new skills and take part in activities. Early evidence suggests that YIPs help reduce arrest rates among children and young people who take part.

Announcing the funding, YJB chair Rod Morgan said: “One of the most effective ways to reduce crime is to prevent young people from getting into trouble in the first place. Extra funding for prevention work is common sense economics – the Audit Commission estimates that preventing young people from offending could save public services more than £80m a year.”

The money will also be used to fund individual support for children and young people on Antisocial Behaviour Orders. Research by children’s charity NCH published last week revealed that, between May and December 2004, only seven individual support orders were issued to 10- to 17-year-olds compared with more than 600 Asbos.

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