Youth crime debate puts young people “at real danger”

    Politicians must get away from “knee-jerk” policies
    on youth crime, the Conservative spokesperson for young people said
    today, writes Maria Ahmed.

    New Asset  
    Charles Hendry

    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
    perpetrators.”
     
    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
    system.
     
    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
    government’s agenda.

     

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