Ministers identify 47 worst 'hot spots' for crime

Crime offensive: New effort to crack down on the persistent criminals creating misery in the most blighted neighbourhoods

The most crime-ridden areas in England and Wales have been identified by the Government in a major programme to tackle the next generation of young offenders.

The most crime-ridden areas in England and Wales have been identified by the Government in a major programme to tackle the next generation of young offenders.

In each of the 47 crime hot spots - which range from crumbling inner-city areas to sprawling edge-of-town council estates - the 50 worst offenders will be identified and targeted. The hot spots will be formally named today.

The Government intends to cut the arrest rates of the targeted youths by 60 per cent in two years and to drive down the overall crime rates in the hot spots by 30 per cent in the same period. The £13m initiative was outlined to the The Independent last night by Charles Pollard, the Chief Constable of Thames Valley and a member of the Government's Youth Justice Board.

Mr Pollard said a small number of young serial offenders were creating "cultures of fear and helplessness" in the country's most crime-hit areas and that research had shown there was a need to tackle the 3 per cent of offenders who were typically responsible for 25 per cent of overall crime.

He added: "They create an atmosphere on an estate, which arouses fear in people living there and encourages other youngsters to get involved in criminality through peer pressure."

The scheme is being jointly funded by the Home Office, the Youth Justice Board, the Department for Employment, Transport and the Regions and the Department for Education and Employment.

Officials in the 47 most run-down local authorities in the country, as identified by the DFEE's Index of Deprivation, were asked to nominate a specific neighbourhood or estate plagued by crime.

Teachers, police officers and car workers will pool information on local youngsters with previous convictions, records of truancy or school exclusion.

They will then draw up a list of the 50 youngsters aged 13-16 who represent the greatest risk of criminal activity in the neighbourhood.

The initiative - known as the Youth Inclusion Programme - has a further aim of reducing by a third the levels of truancy and school exclusion in the hot-spot neighbourhoods during the next two years.

Youngsters at risk will be offered treatment for drug and alcohol misuse and classes in literacy and numeracy. They will also be offered after-school activities and vocational training.

YIPs have been piloted in 10 areas around the country since last September and early indications show that a comprehensive approach to youth offending is helping to divert youngsters from crime.

It is hoped that local people will volunteer to help with the activities programmes so that they will continue after the end of the scheme in 2002.

Mr Pollard said: "I am sure that people will have no objections to their neighbourhoods being labelled as high-crime areas. They want their estates to be nicer and safer places to live and this programme will help to achieve that."

Louise Bennett, the Board's senior policy adviser on the Youth Inclusion Programme, said: "Nearly all the communities have welcomed the scheme. Residents see it as a good way to reduce the nuisance behaviour on their estates."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing