Eric Pickles starts ‘troubled families’ drive to tackle youth crime

Well over 2,000 problem families often involved in youth crime and anti-social behaviour have been identified in east London for being in urgent need of help to get off the dole.

But none has been successful finding work since the government’s ‘troubled families’ programme came in 12 months ago, figures released this week reveal.

Tower Hamlets has 1,120 ‘troubled families’—more than any other London borough—while neighbouring Newham has identified 985, according to Whitehall statistics.

Yet the families so far have not had their lives turned around with intensive interventions to tackle truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment.

Other areas have done better, like Hackney which has at least made a start by turning round the lives of 19 families out of 1,000, while Camden has gone even further, sorting out 94 families out of 755.

Now Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has had to launch a new drive to get the families into work with 150 specialist Jobcentre advisers being brought in to help 94 local authorities.

“This programme for some of the hardest-to-help families will help bring down the damage they do to communities,” he said. “The push will give a sense of purpose to people who have been allowed to fail by the state for too long.”

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Local authorities around the country reported in January turning round the lives of nearly 1,700 families in just nine months, but not in east London.

The 94 local authorities with the most troubled families such as Tower Hamlets and Newham are being offered fully-funded advisors from Jobcentres, to help those who government ministers admit “have been failed by the system” where there is a history of unemployment across generations.