He is completely right in his assessment of the current shortfalls in the youth justice system and has highlighted a number of areas crying out for improvement. I am pleased to say that here in London we are all ready in the process of implementing a major plan to address many of the issues that Humfrey raises.
During the election campaign Boris made the reduction of youth crime a top priority and a number of us at City Hall have been working up policies to turn that commitment into reality. Our recent policing successes in taking knives off the street through Operation Blunt 2 and reducing transport crime through our extra funding of transport police have been high profile, but we have also been working on a range of preventative measures in parallel to the policing initiatives. These were published in November 2008 under the title “Time for Action”.
One of the key plans within “Time for Action” is called Project Daedalus and it specifically aims to reduce the re-offending rates amongst those in Feltham YOI. We have negotiated with the MoJ, Youth Justice Board, London Councils and others to trial our plan in a 30-bed wing in Feltham YOI.