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Preventing Youth Crime

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Outline and evaluate strategies used by criminal agencies to control youth crime.

An estimate number of 10 to 17 yr olds in UK in 1999 was 2704392 males and 2561681 females. These young people represent of the general population and are also often the group who elicit the most concern and discussion within local communities and the media. There is a big interest in the consistent crimes in this age group, resulted in a lot of research being made.

Therefore this essay will be establishing research done by various criminal agencies that help to prevent youth crime occurring and evaluating this research critically.

Preventing youth crime before it happens is the first and best way to protect society. The Youth Justice Strategy identifies prevention as one of its key objectives. This new approach to youth crime also acknowledges that the law is only one part of the solution Ñ* some of the most effective responses to crime lie outside the criminal justice system.

Crime and disorder remains an important concern for our communities. We know this from our own experiences and our knowledge is backed by the 2000 Crime Survey, where just over 8 in 10 people identified crime as a serious problem.

And although disorder may not involve criminal behaviour, the Scottish Household Survey has consistently reported that around 30% of respondents think groups of young people hanging around to be a problem in their area. Over half of families living in council flats identified this as a problem.

Long-lasting strategies that address the causes of youth crime must involve a variety of individuals, organizations and governments in such areas as crime prevention, child welfare, mental health, education, social services and employment. The Strategy supports the involvement of a broad range of organizations that work with children. Families, communities and victims will also be more involved in addressing youth crime under the government's new strategy.

The Youth Justice Strategy is linked to the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention. The Safer Communities Initiative, administered by the National Crime Prevention Centre, was launched in June 1998 as part of the National Strategy. This initiative is aimed at developing community-based responses to crime, with a particular emphasis on children and youth,

There are various criminal agencies which are operating to reduce youth crime and I have listed a few below.

The first criminal ageny would be the police. At present there are 43 police forces in England and Wales. They are maintained by local police authorities, whose objectives are set in consultation with the chief constables and local community, while the Government sets priorities for the police as a whole.

Each police force is headed by a chief constable (in London the Commissioner of the City of London Police, and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) which is appointed by their police authorities, with government approval. Independent inspectors of constabulary report on the efficiency and effectiveness of police forces.

Secondly, The National Criminal Intelligence Service collects, analyses and evaluates criminal intelligence for use by police forces and other law enforcement agencies in the UK, which particularly look at organised crime. It liaises with the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), which promotes international co-operation between police forces, and EUROPOL.

The aims of the National Crime Squad are to prevent and detect organised and serious crime across the police force and national boundaries in England and Wales, and it supports provincial forces in their investigation of serious crime.

Another criminal agency is the Forensic Science Service provides scientific support to police forces through its six regional laboratories. It also operates the national DNA database in England and Wales, which is used to match DNA profiles taken from suspects to profiles from samples left at scenes of crime.

The Serious Fraud Office prosecutes cases of serious or complex fraud, with teams of lawyers, accountants, police officers and other specialists who conduct the investigations.

The Crown Prosecution Service is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who reports to the Attorney General.

Other prosecuting authorities include the Serious Fraud Office, the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise Commissioners, local authorities, and trading standards departments, all of which will prosecute cases. Any Individual citizens can bring private prosecutions for most crimes, but some need the consent of the Attorney General; these cases may be taken over by the DPP.

An Independent Inspectorate (HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate) reports on the performance of the Crown Prosecution Service and the prosecution Group of HM Customs and Excise.

In 2001, a unified National Probation Service for England and Wales was formed, which was led by a National Director, who reports directly to the Home Secretary. The service supervises and watches offenders in the community, which is under direct court orders and being on release from custody on licence. It also prepares reports for the courts to help with sentencing. Certain young offenders can be supervised by local authority social services departments or youth offending teams.

HM Inspectorate of Probation has both an inspection and an advisory role, and also monitors any work that the Probation Service carries out in conjunction with the voluntary and private sectors.

The prison service is also a major criminal agency. Every prison establishment in England and Wales has a board of visitors, called the Independent Monitoring Board, which consists of volunteers drawn from the local community and are appointed by the Home Secretary. These boards are independent. They monitor complaints by prisoners and the concerns of staff, and report as necessary to ministers.

Independent Prisons Inspectorates report on the treatment of prisoners and prison conditions, and submit annual reports which are sent to Parliament. Each prison establishment is visited about once every three years.

Prisoners who fail to get satisfaction from the Prison Service's internal request and complaints system can complain to the independent Prisons Ombudsman.

A definition

of a young offender is a youth has been adjucticated or convicted for committing deliquent acts, such as crimes against people, crimes against property, status offences and crimes relating to substance abuse.

There are various ways in which crimes can be recorded and one of these ways are by reports. To analyse and evaluate



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