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Government urged to reverse cuts to youth offending teams

Released on 14 March 2011

London Councils has warned the government that planned funding cuts to youth offending team funding could set back efforts to reduce crime in the capital.

The warning follows the surprise news last month that funding for youth offending teams (YOTS) from the Youth Justice Board will be reduced by as much as 30 per cent for some boroughs and an average 23 per cent in London.

The average cut for England is 21 per cent, and given that young Londoners account for almost a quarter of all young offenders in the criminal justice system, this cut appears disproportionately harsh on the capital.

Compounding the issue is that boroughs had been warned to prepare for a 10 per cent cut. Instead they have been confronted with a cut over double the anticipated size – and only a month before the start of the new financial year.

London Councils’ Executive Member for Children and Young People Councillor Steve Reed has written to Education Secretary Michael Gove to urge him to reconsider the planned cuts.

Councillor Reed said:

"Across the capital, Youth Offending Teams perform some quite heroic work helping to support young people from re-offending.

"These cuts risk undermining this work. Combined with the effects of cuts across education policing, housing and welfare, there is a very real risk that we could see a rise in young people offending and then going on to re-offend.

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