02 March 2012

£3.5m to further cut youth re-offending rates

As part of his vision for a safer London, Mayor Boris Johnson has announced £3.5 million of funding to further address youth re-offending over the next three years.

The grant will help support 14-17 year olds who have been remanded or sentenced to custody as they transition to release, motivating them to take advantage of educational opportunities, training and employment prospects.

Tackling youth crime and investing in the future of young people in London are top priorities for the Mayor. The announcement of the grant came as an independent evaluation of his pioneering pilot resettlement unit at Feltham Youth Offenders Institute revealed great results. Early findings show that of those youths released from the Heron wing re-offending rates had been reduced to 41%. This is in contrast to a group of 15-17 year olds released from a juvenile secure estate that showed 61% of young people discharged re-offended within nine months.

The Heron Unit is part of Mayor Johnson’s Time for Action scheme dedicated to tackling youth crime. Boris Johnson has had great success in this area:

  • Youth crime is down 13.8%;
  • Over 11,000 knives and guns have been taken off the streets;
  • Launched the London Gangs Task Force as part of Operation Trident

Mayor Boris Johnson said, “Tackling re-offending is never going to be a simple task but the pilot prison project I delivered has certainly shown promising results. I hope the additional £3.5 million I’ll be investing in young offenders will continue to help them turn their backs on crime for good.

“We all agree that criminals must pay for their crimes, but it’s in all our interests to try and motivate them to focus on gaining employment and education when they are released rather than slipping back into a life time of criminal activity.”

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