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LGA WELCOMES GOVERNMENT'S YOUTH JUSTICE REFORMS

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The government's proposals to reform the youth justice system in England and Wales which home secretary Jack Straw ...
The government's proposals to reform the youth justice system in England and Wales which home secretary Jack Straw announced yesterday were welcomed by the LGA.

The LGA has been in consultation with the home office over its reforms to the youth justice system. The consultation paper published yesterday, 'Tackling Youth Justice' contains new sentencing proposals to ensure young offenders take responsibility for their crimes and proposals to prevent youth crime. These reforms take on board the Audit Commission's recommendations for local government's role in reforming the youth justice system.

LGA chair Jeremy Beecham said: 'Many of these proposals are long overdue. They provide a coherent overview for the youth justice system instead of the piecemeal attitudes of the past.

'The government has been right to place emphasis on the need to confront young offenders with the consequences and victims of their crimes. This approach is vital to ensuring that young offenders take responsibility for their actions and make suitable reparations.

'Local government has a key part to play in tackling and preventing youth crime, which is of great concern to communities across the country. The consultation paper recognises the need to tackle the causes of crime as well as crime itself. Through working directly with young people, their families and in close co-ordination with schools, local authorities play a pivotal role in preventing youth crime.

'Combating and preventing youth crime is a vital part of local authorities' commitment to protect the community, by promoting responsibility and citizenship in young people. These reforms will help local authorities and local police forces make their communities a safer place.'

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