HC Deb 04 November 1948 vol 457 cc1010-1
18. Squadron-Leader Fleming

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent there has been any decrease in juvenile crime in the city of Manchester since the education committee has taken control of more than 900 youth club centres.

Mr. Ede

Juvenile delinquency in Manchester has arisen recently, though not so much as in many other districts. The rise cannot be attributed to any single cause. I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education that of 942 youth service units in Manchester only 28 civic youth clubs are controlled by the local education authority.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

In order to reduce juvenile delinquency, would the right hon. Gentleman consider taking steps to advise the local magistrates that whenever they bind over a juvenile offender, particularly in a juvenile court, they should either make it a condition, if permissible, or request that the boy or girl should be made a member of one of the youth clubs, particularly those assisted by police officers?

Mr. Ede

I should be reluctant to suggest to magistrates that they should make such a suggestion. I know that in many cases the promoters and organisers of juvenile clubs work in the closest association with the magistrates, and that they privately approach a youth whom they think is likely to be assisted by their club, when they can do that without prejudice to the club. I am bound to say that I can see that other members of the club might well object to it being said that "This is the club to which delinquents are sent."

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it took over 20 years to get youth work transferred from the Home Office to the Ministry of Education?