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Government minister visits youth crime project in Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:26 05 October 2010

GOVERNMENT minister Ed Balls dropped into a youth centre in the East End this morning to see how crime and anti social behaviour is being tackled.

By Else Kvist

GOVERNMENT minister Ed Balls dropped into a youth centre in the East End this morning to see how crime and anti social behaviour is being tackled.

The Children's Secretary met with young people taking part in support programmes at the Limehouse Youth Centre and at other youth hubs around Tower Hamlets.

Some had been referred to case workers at the centre in Limehouse Causeway after getting ABC orders to stop them ending up with an ASBO or more serious convictions.

Mr Balls said there was now "more support" available and involvement from local people around the country in early intervention programmes to prevent crime. And Tower Hamlets' acting corporate director of Children, Schools and Families, Isobel Cattermole, said visits from police and case workers as early as at primary school had proved successful.

A 14-year-old boy told Mr Balls he was given an ABC after getting into fights, spitting and hanging around the street. But the Tower Hamlets school boy said he was now feeling more confident and had learned right from wrong after taking part in various courses on drugs and alcohol and being a good citizen. His teacher said his progress had initially been slow after starting the programme, but that his school attendance had now improved and that he was much more focused after taking part in a summer course in customer services.

Mr Balls, along with School's Minister Vernon Coaker, also met with parents, police, housing and estate representatives, as well as youth and community workers to discuss how various agencies work together.


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