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DETAINED YOUTHS COST TAXPAYER£75,000 A HEAD

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A study of the costs of offending published today reveals that that 2,500 youths aged 15 to 17 currently in custody...
A study of the costs of offending published today reveals that that 2,500 youths aged 15 to 17 currently in custody have cost the taxpayer almost£200m in policing, insurance, detention and social services bills - an average of£75,000 each.

The report by the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, entitled Wasted Lives, is based on detailed interviews with 45 young offenders. Most had a history of involvement with social services and 28% had been in children's homes.

The report found that 29 of the youths came from a family where another member had been active in crime. It revealed that for offenders taken into care before being convicted, there is a cost of£4,000 for care proceddings.

Local authority residential care costs an average£600 a week, foster care between£100 and£500 and residence in a local authority secure unit at between£1,800 and£3,450 a week. The overall sum includes an estimated£7,000 a year for special education.

Helen Edwards, the chief executive of NACRO and co-author of the report, said: 'The message from this report is that early intervention with families means fewer crimes, fewer victims and less work for the courts and prisons.'
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