Do you think our public services are funded properly?

Tackling youth crime
It’s a sad fact that these days our country is not a place where everyone feels safe. In the past few years, crime, and the fear of crime, have increased and we all know people who are afraid to walk down their own streets. That’s why the SNP will take the crucial step of putting 1,000 more police on our streets.

Youth crime is a growing problem in many of our communities. Too many people are the victims of vandalism, disruptive behaviour and verbal assaults, which are committed by a small group of young repeat offenders. An SNP government will take a dual approach to youth crime, by using early intervention programmes that divert young people away from crime and ensuring tougher sanctions for persistent young offenders.

Parental Compensation Orders will be introduced to give the courts and children's panels the option, in appropriate circumstances, of making sure that parents take responsibility for offences committed by their children.

Serious and persistent young offenders should not be allowed to roam the streets just because there are no secure accommodation places for them. There are too few secure places so young offenders are either sent home, sent to adult prisons or to secure units in England. We believe that the number of secure units available in Scotland should be doubled.

But we want to do more. We want to stop the cycle of crime before it begins and deal with the causes of crime, not just the symptoms. Those who begin committing crimes when they are young are likely to continue offending later in life, so the SNP will deal with this earlier rather than later. We will tackle the numbers of young people who drift into crime and get involved in drugs or alcohol by encouraging our young people to improve their aspirations, establish connections with their communities and help them back into education.

Our approach will be multi-agency; respecting young people, their views and the communities they form. It is about more than simply making recreational and educational opportunities available, but engaging with young people to determine what sort of opportunities they want and need.

Click image to view a video clip