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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
Charities welcome report on youth
Camilla Batmanghelidjh
Camilla Batmanghelidjh said the report had "discovered truth"
Charities have welcomed a report which says not enough is being done to stop black youths getting involved in crime.

The all-party Commons home affairs select committee has called for a national strategy to cut the number of young black people involved in crime.

But Shaun Bailey, director of youth charity My Generation, said the government could not change much through policy alone.

He called for stronger parenting and better role models for youngsters.

Mr Bailey told BBC Radio Four's Today programme there had been "five years of inaction" because "there is very little the government can do through policy to address this.

"Most of these things need to be dealt with in the home," he said.

'Forthright'

The black community needed to be challenged more and look for realistic role models like doctors, not distant figures like footballers, he added.

Camilla Batmanghelidjh, founder of London-based Kids Company, said the report had "discovered truth".

"It has huge integrity, it has been very forthright in what it has reported but it's avoiding attacking the government on aspects it should have challenged it on," she said.

This is not only a crisis for the black community, it's a crisis for the whole of society
Commission for Racial Equality

The Commission for Racial Equality said it strongly supported the report's findings.

It said poverty, underachievement in education and a lack of role models all contributed to the problem.

It was not surprising that some black boys turned to crime when facing such a "huge, insurmountable barrier of disadvantage", the organisation said.

A spokeswoman said: "It's a crying shame that a whole generation of young black men is being criminalised, written off regardless of whether or not they've ever been involved in crime.

"This is not only a crisis for the black community, it's a crisis for the whole of society."

She said the government must act quickly on the report's findings.

"We can't afford to be complacent, something must be done before another generation of black boys are left to waste away in prison cells," she added.


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Safe houses call for gang members
15 Jun 07 |  UK Politics

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