Youth crime prevention scheme expands to rest of UK
A pioneering scheme that has successfully steered dozens of young people in Glasgow away from a life of crime is to be rolled out to three more cities.
Of the 49 young people most recently supported by the programme, just four continued to offend after receiving support. And one teenager who had committed almost 600 offences when he entered the programme has not reoffended since.
The Action for Children’s Serious Organised Crime Early Intervention service was launched in Glasgow in 2013.
It provides mentors, many of whom are former offenders, to become accessible role models for the teenagers who have typically resisted other types of mainstream support.
Following an award of £4.6 million from The National Lottery Community Fund, the programme will now launch in Edinburgh in January 2020 and Newcastle and Cardiff in April.
By diverting just four ‘high risk’ young people from secure care, the project represents a saving of more than half a million pounds for Glasgow City Council over six months, according to Action for Children.
The service will also offer targeted support to 11 to 18-year-olds through intensive one-to-one support, peer mentoring, education and employment training.
Action for Children director for Scotland, Paul Carberry, said: “Serious organised crime is an issue for the whole of the UK, disproportionately impacts the more vulnerable in our communities, and has a greater presence in socially and economically disadvantaged areas.
“Since 2013, this project has worked intensively with more than 70 young people across Glasgow, diverting them away from a life in serious organised crime and into employment.
“The success from Scotland will lead the way across the UK to help ensure that every child and young person in the country has a safe and happy childhood with the foundations they need to thrive.”
Joe Ferns, UK funding director at The National Lottery Community Fund, added: “Action for Children’s Serious Organised Crime project has proved to be very effective in Scotland, and we’re proud that National Lottery funding will now see it expand to help even more young people at risk.”