Delight over major fall in youth crime in Flintshire

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

YOUNG people in Flintshire are committing fewer crimes, according to latest research.

Government statistics show proven offences by young people in Flintshire fell by 21 per cent last year.

The total number of proven offences by young people in Wales was 11,958, compared with 14,501 for 2008/09.

Proven offences are those which have resulted in action being taken, from a reprimand through to custody.

The data, published by the Ministry of Justice, reflects the positive preventative work undertaken by the youth offending team based within Flintshire Council’s social services department, it is claimed.

Frances Done, chair of the Youth Justice Board (YJB), said: “I am really glad to see the number of proven offences in Wales decline. Fewer offences can mean lower levels of victimisation, benefiting individuals and communities around the country.

“There is more work to be done, but we can see the concrete results of partnership working across youth offending teams, the police, magistrates, local authorities and many others.

“I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts.”

The statistics come days after it was announced the YJB is slashing its grant to Flintshire’s Youth Justice Service by about £80,000.

Lesley Bayley, service manager for the youth justice service, said the cuts would lead to more people being brought before the courts.

She said: “There will be an increase in people going to court because we haven’t been able to support these young people in the early stages.”

But John Drew, chief executive of the YJB, said: “The Youth Justice Board has historically received funding from a variety of Government departments which we then distributed to youth offending teams (YOT) towards their prevention work, among other things.

“As with all publicly funded organisations, we are now working with a reduced budget, but the changes to the way we issue YOT funding means it will go to them as a single pot which can be spent according to local priorities.

“The details and precise amounts of these changes are being worked on and will be finalised shortly.

“The YJB currently contributes 30 per cent of YOT funding, with the remainder coming from local partners.”

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