SNP challenges McConnell on youth crime figures

11th February 2005 at 00:00
The First Minister put up a stout defence of his record last week during testy exchanges at Holyrood with Nicola Sturgeon, deputy SNP leader.

Ms Sturgeon had called on Jack McConnell to "stop talking and start doing something" in relation to youth crime.

The two clashed over the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration report, but focused entirely on the SNP's claim that the Executive's policies on youth crime were failing; there was little reference to the much larger group of non-offending youngsters who come before children's panels.

Ms Sturgeon asked: "When will the First Minister stop blustering and face up to the facts? Youth offending is up by 13 per cent. Even on the most generous interpretation, serious and persistent youth offending is up by 5 per cent.

"The overall number of referrals to children's panels is at an all-time high. One in 20 kids in Scotland now ends up before a children's panel.

"Is it not the case that the Government's policies for tackling youth crime are manifestly failing?"

Mr McConnell retorted: "We have put in place the Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act, and that was opposed by the Scottish National Party. We have taken action on parenting, and that was opposed by the Scottish National Party. There has been action on fast-track hearings, youth courts, more social workers and more people working in the children's hearings system.

"All that would not have happened if the Scottish National Party had been in Government."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now