Boris Johnson bids for control of youth justice

Neil Puffett
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

London mayor Boris Johnson has outlined plans to lobby government to give him more control of youth justice policy in the capital.

The mayor’s Police and Crime Plan for 2013 to 2016 states that the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac), which is headed by Johnson, will push the government for “greater responsibility for London’s youth justice budget and more formal oversight of youth justice in the capital”.

At the moment, youth justice is a local matter, with the capital's 32 boroughs deciding how to spend their youth justice grant from central government and how to tackle crime in their area.

Johnson's latest call for more influence over youth justice follows similar comments made by Stephen Greenhalgh, the deputy mayor for policing and crime, last November.

The Police and Crime Plan also outlined a new target of reducing reoffending rates for young offenders by 20 per cent by 2016.

“The highest reoffending rates are for young people, and specifically those young people who are released from custody; with an average of 72.5 per cent reoffending within a year of release,” the plan states.

“Effective resettlement support for these young people must be a key priority.”

The plan says the success of a payment-by-results resettlement scheme for young offenders launched in January will be central to meeting this target.

The mayor has also backed Safer Schools Partnerships, with the plan pledging that “every secondary school that wants one, will have a named safer schools officer”.

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