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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 12:05 GMT
Project targets 'troubled' youth
Teenager
Family intervention programmes are helping to cut youth crime
Nottingham has been singled out by the government as an "early intervention city" to pioneer a range of schemes to keep young people out of trouble.

Latest government figures show about 500 crimes a week in the East Midlands are committed by children.

One family was moved to a new location after a series of complaints - and must follow a strict behaviour contract.

Youth workers in Nottingham say so far the crime prevention project is working fairly well.

'Locked up'

"Prevention rather than cure is the idea," said Ronnie Fairley, a family intervention officer working in Nottingham.

She has helped several families whose children are causing trouble - including one mother and her children who were moved after a series of complaints about them from police and residents.

The mother, who does not want to be identified, said: "A big point is realising you need help. They [the children] would have, without the help, have ended up locked up or even taken away from me."

The family will be evicted from their new home if they do not follow the behaviour contract.

"Since they have moved into the new area and actually integrated with the community there, we've not had a single complaint about anti-social behaviour," said Ms Fairley.

The Family Intervention Programme is part of the plans to help families get back on track.

The government is putting plans into place to extend the early intervention schemes to help tackle the problems of deprivation and crime which include giving parents intensive training and parenting classes.

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