§ Mr. Brazier
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are his current major initiatives involving youth.
§ Mr. Maclean
We are currently taking action across a wide front. For example, we are promoting safer cities projects focusing on young people and crime; we are issuing fresh guidance on the cautioning of offenders; we are beginning a review of national standards for community penalties; and we have introduced legislation which will enable the courts to deal more effectively with persistent 12 to 14-year-old offenders, to sentence 15 to 17-year-olds to longer periods of detention in a young offender institution, and to order the detention under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 of younger children who have committed grave crimes. We are also supporting over £1 million worth of experimental work in the field of crime reduction, the aim being to reduce the propensity of young people to engage in criminal activity.