[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 10 September, 2004, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Cash aid for youth crime scheme
Young offenders' institution
The aim is to keep teenagers away from a life of crime
Ministers are to spend 750,000 to give police forces a new way of warning young offenders.

The money will help forces with a new "restorative warnings" scheme, aimed at showing minor and first time young offenders the impact of their crimes.

Minor and first-time offenders may have to go to a police station with their parents to discuss their offence.

Ministers say the idea is more effective than traditional police warnings in tackling youth crime.

Other options include a teenager apologising to a victim or cleaning up graffiti.

The new approach has been tried in areas including Fife, Strathclyde and Dumfries and Galloway with "positive" results, the executive said.

There is a small number of young people whose behaviour is blighting communities
Cathy Jamieson MSP
Justice Minister
In Fife, 91 offenders have gone through the process and only 14 have re-offended.

Grampian Police will receive more than 73,000 to spend over the next two years.

In addition, senior officers are boosting the Educational Liaison Unit, supported by its Learning for Life project.

The Grampian force will also create a Youth Justice Management Unit, which will be in action by December.

The aim is to improve the way crime and restorative warning figures are collected so that young offenders involved in anti-social behaviour can be tackled more quickly.

Increase in disposals

Assistant chief constable Pat Shearer said: "We have been conducting a pilot restorative justice scheme in our Moray Division since July 2003.

"This has proved to be very successful. This funding will help us to expand restorative justice options throughout the force.

"It will enable us to increase the number of methods at our disposal when dealing with the minority of young people involved in criminal behaviour.

Justice minister Cathy Jamieson said: "There is a small number of young people whose behaviour is blighting communities across Scotland and tarring the good reputation of their peers.

"Restorative justice warnings - where the offender is made to face up to the consequences of their actions and where their victims have an input - have been shown to be more effective than traditional police warnings in tackling youth offending."

"Just as important is that the victim sees their concerns are being taken seriously," she insisted.




SEE ALSO:
Positive report on youth courts
09 Jul 04  |  Scotland
Police union leader 'out of touch'
07 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Disorder bill's proposals queried
06 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Disorder bill 'needs resourcing'
10 Dec 03  |  Scotland
McConnell denies 'demonising' youth
08 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Youth court opens doors - briefly
02 Jun 03  |  Scotland


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific