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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 24 July 2008
Preventing youth crime

• YOUTH crime is not going to be minimised unless the root causes are tackled.
Children growing up in a disadvantaged family background are bound to follow the route of crime and destruction unless the family in which a child is born receives support from the network of services such as council as well as voluntary sectors.
It is important that teenagers who have left education early are encouraged to return to education through some kind of incentive so that they can go back and, at the same time, appropriate support should be provided to maximise their family income.
This support could best be provided through the voluntary sector as it appears that people generally feel encouraged to receive such help.
Safer Neighbourhoods teams with committed community support officers and police in every ward are involved in making strategies and planning and working with the anti-social behaviour team of housing to support residents, but it depends on how much they can do with the limited resources.
The preventive work, such as intervention to minimise low-level crime, will deter teenagers from being involved in serious crime.
Bringing more police on the streets alone would not solve the problem unless we have more youth groups in our most deprived areas such a Haverstock, Gospel Oak, Castlehaven and involve the voluntary sector more in delivering services to our youths.
Queen’s Crescent Community Centre and the Haven Youth Project (part of the Castlehaven Community Centre) have been providing innovative services to our youths but the Liberal Democrat/Tory coalition has cut their funding recently and that means that our youths will be deprived of the opportunity to be engaged in some of the activities.
Summer looming, the bewildered residents and shopkeepers are in despair as to what to do. Residents of Haverstock, Gospel Oak, Castlehaven want to know what action has been taken to reduce anti-social behaviour and knife crime before the summer recess.
Labour Haverstock ward

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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