Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Sunday, 19 July 2009 14:21 UK

Moves to divert youths from crime

Government funding has been awarded to stop young people on Teesside turning to crime.

Stockton Council will use the £700,000 to provide positive activities, tough enforcement, intervention and support for youngsters believed to be at risk.

Under the Youth Crime Action Plan, police and youth workers will patrol areas identified as crime "hot spots".

They will encourage young people to take part in sport, leisure or educational activities.

'Eyes opened'

There will also be additional youth workers placed in custody suites, to assist the police in choosing the most appropriate course of action.

Councillor Alex Cunningham, Stockton Council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "Diverting young people who are at risk of entering a life of crime by providing opportunities and help is major step forward.

"Many of these young people have never had their eyes opened to the possibilities in life outside of petty crime.

"The Youth Crime Action Plan will play an important role in providing these opportunities and make the borough better for everyone."

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