The Evening Standard is tentatively reporting on Boris’s plans for curbing adolescent crime. If it’s correct, then it indicates that the Mayor is attempting to satisfy both the hard and the progressive factions.
Boris will apparently spend £100 million on a variety of education initiatives. These range from school programmes, which we detailed previously, to ‘about 100‘ weekend “boot camps”, where “misbehaving teenagers” will be sent to partake in tutoring and sporting activities, under the watchful eye of “iron” disciplinarians.
It is also claimed that ‘help’ will be provided to parents that struggle to discipline their children, and will be particularly aimed at ‘inexperienced young mothers‘. A headline mention of ‘parenting classes‘ suggests that this ‘help’ will constitute education (an adoption of a previous Lewis aim) rather financial aid. It does also lead us to wonder what the criteria for identifying ‘inexperienced young mothers’, or, indeed, “misbehaving teens”, may be.
Other possible initiatives include extra funding for Army Cadet groups and youth organisations, and support schemes for teens that have spent time in Young Offenders Institutes.
Funds will apparently be found in the cutting of MPA and TfL budgets, the Mayor’s fund and possible aid from the Home Office and the Department for Children and Families. This ambiguity suggests that there may be a certain monetary risk in launching the scheme, although the cutting implies that Boris is confident that it will succeed.
Whether the education measures are effective or not, the scope of the “boot camps” suggest that a short-term aim may merely be to keep the streets quiet.
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