Youth police cautions surge in Brent as council plan to axe ALL funding to services for young people

The number of youths receiving police cautions has risen in the last year (Pic credit: PA)

The number of youths receiving police cautions has risen in the last year (Pic credit: PA) - Credit: Archant

The number of youths receiving police cautions has increased by 20 per cent in the borough, prompting fears that cuts to vital services in Brent will see the figures surge even higher.

According to data released by the Ministry of Justice, Brent has the seventh highest number of youth crime resulting in a disposal in London last year.

Disposal action is usually taken against a young person under the age of 17 who commits a low-level crime, resulting in them receiving a caution or a referreral order. A total of 596 received disposal actions in 2013/14, compared to 496 the year before.

The news comes as Brent Council plan to cut all funding to youth services in the borough, leaving schools and charities to take on the responsibility.

In addition the town hall plans to pull the plug on their funding for Stonebridge Adventure Playground (SAP) in Shakespeare Avenue, Stonebridge to save £118,000 despite the centre serving youth in one of the most deprived wards in the country.

The controversial proposals are part of a £54million cost-cutting measure which will be rubber-stamped by the council on March 2.

Colin Hunter, a youth worker who grew up in the Stonebridge Estate and also works in SAP, told the Times: “Without youth services it’s far too easy for young people to be swayed by peer pressure and get involved with gangs and go down the criminality route, so the figure will rise.”

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Glynis Lee MBE has looked after three generations of children since she opened SAP with her husband Doug in 1976.

She added: “It’s a false economy to cut youth services as it will cost the judicial system even more. It is going to get worse.

“It’s very short-sighted to cut funding for youth services. I can’t see any good coming from this. It’s disgraceful behaviour.”

A spokesman for Brent Council said they will be taking the views of residents who took part in a public consultation about the cuts into consideration when the town hall votes on what the budget should be.

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