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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Youth crime 'falls by a quarter'
The report said vandalism was one of the most common types of crime
Efforts to tackle youth crime in Dundee have been hailed a success after recorded offences fell by 25%.

There were 501 fewer police referrals to the Children's Reporter in the past 12 months, according to a report before Dundee City Council.

In the same period, there was a 16% reduction in the number of persistent young offenders.

Social work leaders said it showed intensive early intervention strategies were working.

The annual report of the city's Youth Justice Strategy group said the number of persistent offenders fell from 80 in 2005/06 to 67 in 2006/07, a reduction of 16%.

'Chaotic children'

Over the same period, the number of offence referrals from the police to the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA) went from 1,968 to 1,467, equivalent to a 25% reduction.

Dundee's social work and health convener said the authorities had a range of measures in place, such as foster care or anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos), to help keep children out of crime.

Each child is assessed, and a range of services are provided to help, support or control them
Councillor Helen Wright

Councillor Helen Wright said: "The use of more intensive interventions means the most chaotic children are being tackled to provide control and guide them away from trouble.

"Every day of the year, agencies in the city are working with youngsters to address risk factors for crime.

"In some cases the concern may be lack of proper parenting, or school problems, home breakdown, neglect or underage drinking.

"Each child is assessed and a range of services are provided to help, support or control them."

The report said the most common types of crime committed by children were assault, breach of the peace, vandalism and theft.

Six children had been considered for Asbos, with two applications made and granted.

The report also said a new scheme introduced in 2006, which allowed police officers to issue warnings to young offenders, had led to substantial reductions in the number of referrals to the SCRA.

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