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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4 Responses to Here Comes The Sheriff

  1. Tom says:

    Hang on – the TfL budget comes from a central government settlement (i.e. a grant from general taxation, specifically granted for transport purposes) and fare income. I can’t see where in that it says ‘please dip into me when you feel the need’. Need some clarification on that – as stated there it’s not cutting, it’s pinching. He’s already forced TfL to find several million for the extra 440 BTP plod, and if he thinks TfL is a money pit he’s in for a rude shock.

    I also don’t see where they’ll find enough ‘misbehaving teens’ to be sent to Boris Borstal, considering they can’t force them to go.

  2. BenSix says:

    Well, no official reports have been released so the above a) is superficial and b) should be treated with a Littlejohn-approved portion of salt. Having said that, if I were the Mayor and wanted the Press to give advance details I know where I’d turn…

  3. Tom says:

    See comment on Dave Hill’s site suggesting that the only difference in Boris’ £700k for youth projects is that money formerly from the GLA (for Boyhood to Manhood) now comes from the Met. I’m not sure how the Met’s funded, but I can guess. Ah, 78% general taxation, 22% London precept (i.e. the boroughs).

    I’m beginning to suspect a key Boris trait is to move funding from the GLA budget to budgets co-financed by general taxation, in order to demonstrate a reduction in the Mayor’s precept (£908m this year). It’s hard to disentangle the various bits though, but it fits ideologically – our local frothing Tory is always on about how Londoners taxes fund the rest of the country, so raiding Darling’s piggy bank to pay for council tax cuts will be right up his street. The Tory borough boys will love it too.

    There are several posts in this if I can find the inclination. Weather’s too damn sweaty at the moment, though…

  4. BenSix says:

    Extremely intruiging. I suppose it will become more pronounced as budget commitments are confirmed. In the meantime, have a good week.

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