Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Youth Clubs 'Can Help Us Fight Crime'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Youth Clubs 'Can Help Us Fight Crime'

Article excerpt

Byline: Lucy Osborne

YOUTH clubs must do more to help prevent crime in the capital, Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes said today.

Figures released to the Evening Standard under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that six out of 10 council-funded youth clubs in London close by 7pm and have limited hours at weekends -- when young people are most likely to commit crimes.

Mr Hughes called on all youth clubs "to communicate more with young people to provide facilities when they are most needed".

Lambeth, Haringey and Redbridge councils have no clubs open at all on Saturdays and Sundays. Cuts have forced them and other councils including Wandsworth and Havering to reduce opening hours. No clubs stay open later than 10pm.

Mr Hughes said: "On the most intense day of the London riots, youth clubs were being directed to close and send people home, when they should have been opening and saying 'come to us'.

"Teenage boys with a lot of energy wouldn't have engaged in the August riots if they had an obligation to play a football match. …

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