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WHITEHALL DEPARTMENTS TO BE SET NEW TARGETS TO HELP COMBAT CRIME

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Whitehall departments are to be set new targets to meet the government's pledge to be 'tough on the causes of crime...
Whitehall departments are to be set new targets to meet the government's pledge to be 'tough on the causes of crime' as a condition of receiving extra funds from the Treasury in this year's spending review, reports The Financial Times (p4).

The Home Office, backed by the social exclusion unit, has secured argreement that new crime prevention targets will be included in the goals negotiated between ministries and the Treasury as part of the review.

Among the criteria likely to be included are more help for those children leaving council care, fewer exclusions from school and more care in the design of housing estates.

Ministers argue that many of the causes of crime lie not merely in bad social conditions but in unsatisfactory public services to the most crime-prone groups.

Among the statistics cited by ministers is one showing that 38% of the under-25s in prison have spent some time in care. Health ministers have already secured more money to fund after-care programmes for those leaving council care at 16 or 17.

It is also hoped to secure commitments from the Department for Education and Employment to reduce the level of exclusion from schools.

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