Anti-social Behaviour: A message to our supporters

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your help in protecting children’s rights!

The Government has announced that they will support the will of the House of Lords by retaining the definition of anti-social behaviour as causing “harassment, alarm or distress” in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.

In an overwhelming government defeat, the House of Lords voted to scrap the government’s definition of anti-social behaviour – behaviour causing “nuisance or annoyance” – and stick to the original “harassment alarm or distress” definition.

We were concerned that – as the Bill moved back to the House of Commons – the government could take this opportunity to undo the amendment decided upon by Peers. Thankfully, the government accepted the will of the House of Lords and therefore the change to the legislation.

So we wanted to thank you for taking the time to sign and share the petition – we couldn’t have stopped this legislation without your help.

You can keep up to date with the rest of our work by following us on twitter or signing up to receive email updates.

And finally, a special thank you to our colleagues in the Children’s Society, JUSTICE and the Criminal Justice Alliance for working tirelessly with us on this issue.

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SCYJ and SEC welcome Government amendments to the Children and Families Bill

SCYJ and the Special Educational Consortium (SEC) warmly welcome Government amendments to the Children and Families Bill on Special Educational Need (SEN) provision for children in custody.

As originally drafted, the Bill excluded children from the new SEN framework set out in the Bill. We have been working with Government to change this.

The Government tabled amendments at House of Lords Report Stage. These were welcome but we felt there was room to go further. We are very pleased that the Government has now tabled further amendments for Third Reading in the House of Lords – which will take place on 5th February – which strengthen the way the new SEN framework applies to children in custody.

We believe these changes will significantly improve the position of children and young people with SEN in custody and have published a briefing for peers welcoming the Government’s amendments.

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SCYJ responds to latest youth justice figures

Responding to the 2012/13 youth justice statistics, which were published today, SCYJ Chair, Penelope Gibbs, said:

“There’s some really good news in the new youth justice figures – reductions in the number of children entering the system for the first time, fewer proven offences, and a 21% drop in the number of children in custody.

“But there’s disturbing news from custody. The number of physical restraints per child has increased by 45%  in two years, instances of self-harm per child have increased 7% since last year and assaults have increased 22%.  This is worrying. Children in custody are some of the most vulnerable in society. These figures could indicate they are not getting the intensive support they need.

“The government needs to act urgently to improve the situation in custody. But it also needs to make sure it builds on the positive results we’ve seen this year in the rest of the youth justice system.”

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