Thousands of troubled children and teenagers teetering on the edge of crime will be put back on the right track thanks to the largest youth justice funding boost in a generation – cutting crime and making streets safer. Around 80 percent of prolific adult offenders begin committing crimes as children, and the estimated cost of late intervention to the economy is nearly £17 billion per year. That’s why the government is making the biggest investment in a generation – worth £300 million over the next 3 years – to support every single council across England and Wales in catching and preventing youth offending earlier than ever, helping to stop these children and teenagers from moving on to further, more serious offending.
And for the first time ever, local authorities will be given specific cash to intervene early with teenagers displaying signs such as poor school attendance, troubles at home, and a history of substance abuse which are known to be factors which often drive young people into crime – so they can steer them away from law-breaking before an offence is even committed. Through ‘Turnaround’, a new early intervention scheme backed by £60 million, local Youth Offending Teams will be given extra funding to connect children and teenagers to targeted, wraparound support to stop them going down a path of criminality. This could include mentoring, extra school tuition, sports clubs, help to address any issues at school or at home, with their mental health or with substance misuse, tackling the root causes of their behaviour and helping them to get their lives back on track.