Fears youth club closure may lead to higher crime

Monday, April 14, 2014
10:05 AM

There are fears that criminal damage and antisocial behaviour could increase if Exmouth’s youth club is closed.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

That’s the concern of the East and Mid Devon Community Partnership (CSP) – a group of agencies that work together to try and reduce crime and disorder in the district.

Kevin Finan, the chairman of the CSP, was giving the organisation’s response to cuts being proposed by the county council to the youth service.

It is feared that axing £1million from young people’s services will threaten the county’s 34 youth centres.

County Hall could cease running such centres in the hope that they will be taken over by other organisations.

Around 60 staff could lose their jobs, with volunteers being expected to step up to the plate.

Mr Finan outlined his concerns to John Hart, the leader of the county council, which along with Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Cornwall Probation Trust, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and East Devon District Council, is a statutory partner of the CSP.

He said: “We wish to express our deep concerns at the impact these changes will have on the work of the CSP. Youth centres have fantastic attendance with around 50 young people attending every evening session.

“This equates to a lot of young people who will be without a replacement provision should the youth centres close.”

He said that while the county council suggested that the buildings could be offered to voluntary groups, the reality of finding enough volunteers was ‘extremely unlikely’.

He said he was also concerned about young people who had left school but were not attending college slipping through the net.

At a town council meeting last month, Exmouth youth worker Barry Trivett said that in the summer months youth workers targeted up to 300 vulnerable young people on the streets every week.

Mr Finan added: “There are real concerns that left with no positive activities the young people who currently access the facilities and support within the youth centre will be left vulnerable and at a loose end.

“This may well lead to an increase in antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.”

Exmouth councillor and CSP deputy chairman Steve Gazzard said: “I fully endorse these concerns. I understand that the consultation period for the youth service has been extended until June. I just hope the county council listens.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Exmouth Journal visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Exmouth Journal staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Exmouth Journal account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Photo Orders
Letters
Competitions
Subscriptions
Follow us on Facebook
View or book a notice

Join our newsletter

Local Search 24 – East Devon
Looking for a:

Location:

Search radius:

Exmouth's trusted business directory