Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Made PCC, Wants Have Has for the "I the "Concern over Youth Offender Cash Reduction

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Made PCC, Wants Have Has for the "I the "Concern over Youth Offender Cash Reduction

Article excerpt

Byline: DANIEL HOLLAND Local Democracy Reporter daniel.holland@reachplc.com

THE team charged with the task of helping Newcastle's young offenders avoid a life of crime has been hit by "worrying" funding cuts.

Newcastle's Youth Offending Team (YOT) has seen its budget slashed by almost a third since 2010, city bosses have confirmed, down from PS1.76m in 2010/11 to PS1.26m in 2017/18. Government funding for the team has been cut from PS825,000 to PS538,000 in that time.

The figures were confirmed on the day that seven teenagers, aged between 14 and 17, were arrested on suspicion of murder following an "unprovoked" stabbing in Newcastle city centre in which a 52-year-old man died.

The YOT - a partnership between Newcastle City Council, the National Probation Service, Northumbria Police, and Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group - runs programmes to keep people away from crime, helps young people at police stations if they are arrested and helps young people and their families at court.

Coun Anita Lower, leader of the city's Lib Dem opposition, said that cuts to the service were "worrying". She added: "It has been proven that crime prevention is where we need to spend our money."

A council spokesperson said: "Years of government cuts through austerity have had a major impact on public services and the North East has come off worse than most.

"Our youth offending team budgets have not been spared from this and have reduced from PS1.757m in 2010/11 to PS1.26m in 2018/19.

"Despite cuts in government grants of more than a third, we have been working hard with partners to ensure we retain a budget that allows us tackle youth crime in the city. We would be prepared to work with any partner to apply for additional funding if such revenue sources were made available.

"The work done by our youth offending team has seen a significant reduction in overall youth crime and in terms of serious youth crime, Newcastle compares favourably with other core cities. …

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