HC Deb 04 November 2003 vol 412 cc581-2W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to combat youth offending; and if he will make a statement. [132938]

Ms Blears

On 8 September we published "Youth Justice—The Next Steps", consulting on how to take further our youth justice reform programme for England and Wales. A copy has been placed in the Library. The document sets out changes we would like to make over the next few years in the way young offenders are dealt with. It includes proposals to:

  • Strengthen parenting interventions
  • Improve understanding of trials and trial preparation
  • Manage juvenile remandees better in the community
  • Establish a simpler sentencing structure with more flexible interventions
  • Provide intensive supervision and surveillance as the main response to repeat and serious offending while still having custody available
  • Introduce a more graduated progression between secure, open and community facilities
  • Improve youth justice skills and organisation: and
  • Invites views on how pre-court interventions can be developed further.

Consultation ends on 1 December and we encourage anyone with an interest in these issues to let us have their views on whether the proposals represent the best way forward.

These proposals complement the wide programme of work put forward in "Every Child Matters", published on the same date by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. This consults in particular on how to help children achieve their full potential and how to tackle the risks of adverse outcomes including offending which some face in their early lives. The paper consults on ways to strengthen the work of the services which deal with children.

Chris Ruane

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many(a) police authority and (b) Crown Prosecution Service region fast tracking cases involved persistent youth offenders in the last year for which figures are available. [133053]

Ms Blears

Figures on the time taken from arrest to sentence for persistent young offenders are collected by Criminal Justice Area. Nationally, the number of persistent young offender cases dealt with over the last year for which figures are available, was:

Persistent young offender cases
August 2,065
September 2,041
October 2,341
November 2,120
December 1,675
January 2,316
February 2,164
March 2,123
April 2,144
May 2,109
June 2,111
July 2,503
Total 25,712