Monday, 11 May, 2009

Government accused of failing to tackle yobs

THE number of yobs repeatedly committing crimes has soared by 60% since Labour came to power, new figures revealed today.

Ministry of Justice figures revealed the number of Persistent Young Offenders (PYOs) in England and Wales increased from 9,868 in 1997 to 15,819 last year.

The number of offences they commit each year has risen by more than 80% - to nearly 80 every day.

A Persistent Young Offender is someone aged 10-17 sentenced for a recordable offence three times or more over three years.

The figures were revealed to the Tories in written parliamentary answers.

Shadow police minister David Ruffley said the system is failing to keep offenders off the streets or rehabilitate them..

He said: "Police officers are concerned that a huge amount of their time is spent dealing with the same repeat young offenders that the criminal justice system fails to keep off the streets or rehabilitate.

"I agree with the police that this revolving door of criminality is unacceptable.

"These new figures show that Labour Ministers have presided over a decade of yobbery, fuelled by massive increases in the number of repeat young offenders.

"These figures make a mockery of Labour's promises to tackle youth crime.

There have been 46 Labour strategies since 1997 to try and tackle youth crime and it's now clear they have failed." The figures emerged as police leaders accused courts of going soft on crime by allowing offenders to "renegotiate" the terms of their community sentences.

Police Federation chairman Paul McKeever told The Sunday Telegraph Labour had "failed abysmally" on crime.

He told the newspaper: "One of the things that has to change is that 'no' has to mean 'no'.

People should not be able to renegotiate their anti-social behaviour orders, their curfews and their community service orders.

"The feeling within the police is that we take an awful lot of stick and are blamed for the general failure of the criminal justice system."