Funds to tackle youth crime

by Nadia Sam-Daliri Youth organisations are being encouraged to apply for a chunk of Boris Johnson s �23million youth crime fund. The Mayor of London announced on April 1 that the money would be available to groups that rehabilitate first

by Nadia Sam-Daliri

Youth organisations are being encouraged to apply for a chunk of Boris Johnson's �23million youth crime fund.

The Mayor of London announced on April 1 that the money would be available to groups that rehabilitate first-time offenders.

The London Development Agency is now running workshops to encourage as many organisations as possible to apply before the deadline on May 31.

Mr Johnson said: "My priority is providing life changing opportunities to young Londoners who have fallen out of the education system or need steering away from a life of crime and this funding is a major step in delivering this. It will provide skills training in young offender institutes and job placements and continued support for youngsters when they are released."

Winston Small, centre manager at Granville Arts Youth Centre Plus, in Kilburn, said: "We need to spend more money on giving young people something to do. Resources have been cut in the past and the young people have suffered."

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Dawn Butler, MP for Brent South, said: "Targeting first time offenders in order to deter them away from crime, and improving preventative measures are welcomed as long as they are adding to the system and not recreating the wheel.

"Organisations like Not Another Drop and LEAP and apprenticeship schemes like the one at Transputec already have such a positive impact on providing opportunities to young people that I would like to see many given the opportunity to grow. I encourage all youth organisations in Brent to apply as quickly as possible."

The programme is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the London Development Agency (LDA).

One of the main aims of the programme is to find youngsters in offender institutes a job after their release.

Apprenticeships and skills training for those aged between 14 and 19-years-old who are not in further education will also be available.

The project is part of the Mayor's Time for Action plan, which was announced last November and looks to deter teenagers from a life of crime.

nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk

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