Headlines: August 30th, 2001

Crime rates in deprived areas have been reduced dramatically by activity schemes run by the Youth Justice Board. The schemes give 13-17 year olds on deprived estates constructive activities to keep them out of trouble over the holidays. In the estates that ran schemes in Summer 2000 some 20,000 young people were kept off the streets and there was a 36% reduction in domestic burglary and an 18% reduction in ‘youth crime’ in the area.This Summer 150 schemes are running in some of the most deprived estates in England and Wales. The activities combine educational and life classes, such as drug awareness and sex education, with video making, drama, team sports and DJ classes. Innovative examples this summer include a youth written drama production at the Edinburgh festival from a Gateshead project, a trip by Cardiff youngsters to work at an orphanage in Belarus and fire fighting experience at a project in Birmingham.The schemes have won the support of Police and local residents who acknowledge the benefit of keeping youngsters off the streets. Local communities are significantly involved with around 35,000 volunteer hours recorded over Summer 2000. The cost to the tax-payer is less than 3 pounds for each hour of activity for one young person.

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