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Friday, 24 August, 2001, 03:25 GMT 04:25 UK
Summer schemes 'slash youth crime'
Youth crime down
Fewer cases of anti-social behaviour are being reported
Youth crime has fallen sharply in the UK, thanks to successful summer activity schemes, says a report.

House burglaries have been cut by more than a third in some areas, according to the findings of the Youth Justice Board (YJB).

A total of 30,000 teenagers have been kept out of trouble because of projects across England and Wales offering an alternative to crime, says the report published on Friday.

The YCB studied the effects of 150 projects, known as Splash schemes, set up last year.

Lynda Williams, who runs the Splash groups in the Llanrumney area of Cardiff, said up to 50-80 young people attend the scheme during the summer.

DJ courses

Activities on offer range from DJ and dance courses to youth clubs.

And she is convinced of its success in reducing crime.

"Last year proved that anti-social crimes had decreased throughout the summer period and were reliable in comparison with previous years," she said.

Local volunteers helped make the summer scheme a success and the police were supportive, she added.

In the 150 projects young people were offered the chance to take part in a range of activities ranging from drama and sport to music and dance.

Car crime down

Figures showed overall an 18% reduction in theft on cars and 36% drop in house burglaries in England and Wales.

Many police forces and local councils have long recognised the benefits of providing constructive activities.

The schemes are being seen as more successful than curfew orders which local authorities and the police can impose on children up to the age of 15 to stop anti-social behaviour.

See also:

19 Jul 01 | Education
Schools fear summer arson
01 Aug 01 | UK
Child curfew laws extended
01 Aug 01 | Scotland
Curfew scheme stands alone
04 Jun 01 | Education
Summer schools 'need more cash'
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