This (pasted below) is the press release about the Lib Dem new policy paper on youth crime.
There's a full paper also which you can get to via www.libdems.org.uk
Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Huhne, today (7 August) accused both Labour and the Conservatives of ‘falling over each other to be tough on crime’ as he promoted his party’s new plans for stopping young people from committing crimes.
The ideas outlined in the document A Life Away From Crime also highlight how to stop children who have been found guilty of minor offences from committing more serious crimes.
The main proposals include:
Making young people pay back the damage caused to communities without involving the criminal justice system
The formation of a Youth Volunteer Force to engage young people in activities that benefit local people
Running nationwide restorative justice programmes, with a particular emphasis on early intervention in schools and care homes
Creating a dedicated PCSO youth officer in every area to work with teenagers most at risk of offending
Targeting guns and knives through intelligence-led stop and search, hot-spot policing and action in schools
Chris Huhne said:
"If we want to tackle the problem of youth crime, we need to take action early to stop kids from embarking on a life of crime before it’s too late.
"The old parties are falling over each other trying to be tough on crime, but nothing is being done do stop young people getting sucked in to a cycle of crime.
"Ministers know that programmes to divert kids away from crime work, and are even happy to promote such projects. However, they have failed to fund them properly in favour of punitive policies that grab headlines but achieve little.
"It is time for a new approach to youth justice which both prevents crime and confronts young people with their actions if they do break the law."