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Government seeking innovative ways to tackle youth crime

Hon Chester Borrows
Associate Minister of Justice
Associate Minister for Social Development

16 December 2013

Government seeking innovative ways to tackle youth crime

Associate Justice Minister Chester Borrows today announced the opening of applications to a new Government initiative that will make funding available for fresh new approaches to reducing offending by young people.

The new fund, part of the Government’s Youth Crime Action Plan, will provide grants to groups and organisations with innovative ideas for reducing youth crime.

“The way we work with communities on youth justice is a key part of the Action Plan,” says Mr Borrows.

“We’re asking communities to step up and get creative. This YCAP Innovation Fund is our way of backing communities to do just that.”

The fund will start with $400,000 to support community-based youth justice initiatives and build community capacity to address youth offending. Projects will need to be innovative and not eligible for Government funding by more conventional sources.

“Recently we’ve made good progress reducing youth crime. For example, the number of young people appearing before the youth court decreased by 19 per cent between June 2011 and June 2013. However plenty of challenges remain.

“This fund will encourage community groups to try new approaches that might make an important difference for some of our most vulnerable young people,” says Mr Borrows.

Information about the YCAP Innovation Fund and how to apply for grants will be available on the Government Electronic Tender Service website at www.gets.govt.nz.

Applications are open until 14 February 2014 and successful grants will be awarded by mid-2014. Priority will be given to original proposals that are most likely to contribute towards the Action Plan’s goals of reducing crime by children and youth, and helping those who offend to turn their lives around.

“I encourage community groups to think about what they might do to address the needs of youth in their areas who are at risk of offending. Experience tells us that small local projects, driven by people who know the kids in their community and what they need, can sometimes yield huge gains for a particular community,” Mr Borrows says.”

“The Youth Crime Action Plan will play an important part in achieving the Government’s Better Public Service target of a 25 per cent reduction in serious youth crime by 2017. YCAP identifies the opportunities we must seize, and the challenges we must address, to reach that target and make a difference to the children and young people behind the statistics.”

The full Youth Crime Action Plan, as well as supporting documents, is available on www.justice.govt.nz.

ENDS

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